Part 6 out of 12
heifers and my calves--calves of very tender years some of them--and all
with as great desire to fatten themselves as any of us have to do what will
as probably lead to our destruction?'
'You're not going to have the rain, anyhow,' said Kearney; 'and you'll not
be sorry, Nina, for you wanted a fine day to finish your sketch of Croghan
'Oh! by the way, has old Bob recovered from his lameness yet, to be fit to
'Ask Kitty there; she can tell you, perhaps.'
'Well, I don't think I'd harness him yet. The smith has pinched him in the
off fore-foot, and he goes tender still.'
'So do I when I go afoot, for I hate it,' cried Nina; 'and I want a day in
the open air, and I want to finish my old Castle of Croghan--and last of
all,' whispered she in Kate's ear, 'I want to show my distinguished friend
Mr. Walpole that the prospect of a visit from him does not induce me to
keep the house. So that, from all the wants put together, I shall take an
early breakfast, and start to-morrow for Cruhan--is not that the name of
the little village in the bog?'
'That's Miss Betty's own townland--though I don't know she's much the
richer of her tenants,' said Kearney, laughing. 'The oldest inhabitants
never remember a rent-day.'
'What a happy set of people!'
'Just the reverse. You never saw misery till you saw them. There is not a
cabin fit for a human being, nor is there one creature in the place with
enough rags to cover him.'
'They were very civil as I drove through. I remember how a little basket
had fallen out, and a girl followed me ten miles of the road to restore
it,' said Nina.
'That they would; and if it were a purse of gold they 'd have done the
same,' cried Kate.
'Won't you say that they'd shoot you for half a crown, though?' said
Kearney, 'and that the worst "Whiteboys" of Ireland come out of the same
'I do like a people so unlike all the rest of the world,' cried Nina;
'whose motives none can guess at, none forecast. I'll go there to-morrow.'
These words were said as Daniel had just re-entered the room, and he
stopped and asked, 'Where to?'
'To a Whiteboy village called Cruhan, some ten miles off, close to an old
castle I have been sketching.'
'Do you mean to go there to-morrow?' asked he, half-carelessly; but not
waiting for her answer, and as if fully preoccupied, he turned and left the
A DRIVE AT SUNRISE
The little basket-carriage in which Nina made her excursions, and which
courtesy called a phaeton, would scarcely have been taken as a model at
Long Acre. A massive old wicker-cradle constituted the body, which, from a
slight inequality in the wheels, had got an uncomfortable 'lurch to port,'
while the rumble was supplied by a narrow shelf, on which her foot-page
sat _dos a dos_ to herself--a position not rendered more dignified by his
invariable habit of playing pitch-and-toss with himself, as a means of
distraction in travel.
Except Bob, the sturdy little pony in the shafts, nothing could be less
schooled or disciplined than Larry himself. At sight of a party at marbles
or hopscotch, he was sure to desert his post, trusting to short cuts and
speed to catch up his mistress later on.
As for Bob, a tuft of clover or fresh grass on the roadside were
temptations to the full as great to him, and no amount of whipping could
induce him to continue his road leaving these dainties untasted. As in Mr.
Gill's time, he had carried that important personage, he had contracted the
habit of stopping at every cabin by the way, giving to each halt the amount
of time he believed the colloquy should have occupied, and then, without
any admonition, resuming his journey. In fact, as an index to the
refractory tenants on the estate, his mode of progression, with its
interruptions, might have been employed, and the sturdy fashion in which
he would 'draw up' at certain doors might be taken as the forerunner of an
The blessed change by which the county saw the beast now driven by a
beautiful young lady, instead of bestrode by an inimical bailiff, added to
a popularity which Ireland in her poorest and darkest hour always accords
to beauty; and they, indeed, who trace points of resemblance between
two distant peoples, have not failed to remark that the Irish, like the
Italians, invariably refer all female loveliness to that type of surpassing
excellence, the Madonna.
Nina had too much of the South in her blood not to like the heartfelt,
outspoken admiration which greeted her as she went; and the 'God bless
you--but you are a lovely crayture!' delighted, while it amused her in the
way the qualification was expressed.
It was soon after sunrise on this Friday morning that she drove down the
approach, and made her way across the bog towards Cruhan. Though pretending
to her uncle to be only eager to finish her sketch of Croghan Castle, her
journey was really prompted by very different considerations. By Dick's
telegram she learned that Walpole was to arrive that day at Kilgobbin,
and as his stay could not be prolonged beyond the evening, she secretly
determined she would absent herself so much as she could from home--only
returning to a late dinner--and thus show her distinguished friend how
cheaply she held the occasion of his visit, and what value she attached to
the pleasure of seeing him at the castle.
She knew Walpole thoroughly--she understood the working of such a nature to
perfection, and she could calculate to a nicety the mortification, and even
anger, such a man would experience at being thus slighted. 'These men,'
thought she, 'only feel for what is done to them before the world: it is
the insult that is passed upon them in public, the _soufflet_ that is given
in the street, that alone can wound them to the quick.' A woman may grow
tired of their attentions, become capricious and change, she may be piqued
by jealousy, or, what is worse, by indifference; but, while she makes no
open manifestation of these, they can be borne: the really insupportable
thing is, that a woman should be able to exhibit a man as a creature that
had no possible concern or interest for her--one might come or go, or stay
on, utterly unregarded or uncared for. To have played this game during
the long hours of a long day was a burden she did not fancy to encounter,
whereas to fill the part for the short space of a dinner, and an hour or so
in the drawing-room, she looked forward to rather as an exciting amusement.
'He has had a day to throw away,' said she to herself, 'and he will give it
to the Greek girl. I almost hear him as he says it. How one learns to know
these men in every nook and crevice of their natures, and how by never
relaxing a hold on the one clue of their vanity, one can trace every
emotion of their lives.'
In her old life of Rome these small jealousies, these petty passions of
spite, defiance, and wounded sensibility, filled a considerable space of
her existence. Her position in society, dependent as she was, exposed her
to small mortifications: the cold semi-contemptuous notice of women who saw
she was prettier than themselves, and the half-swaggering carelessness of
the men, who felt that a bit of flirtation with the Titian Girl was as
irresponsible a thing as might be.
'But here,' thought she, 'I am the niece of a man of recognised station;
I am treated in his family with a more than ordinary deference and
respect--his very daughter would cede the place of honour to me, and
my will is never questioned. It is time to teach this pretentious fine
gentleman that our positions are not what they once were. If I were a man,
I should never cease till I had fastened a quarrel on him; and being a
woman, I could give my love to the man who would avenge me. Avenge me of
what? a mere slight, a mood of impertinent forgetfulness--nothing more--as
if anything could be more to a woman's heart! A downright wrong can be
forgiven, an absolute injury pardoned--one is raised to self-esteem by such
an act of forgiveness; but there is no elevation in submitting patiently to
a slight. It is simply the confession that the liberty taken with you was
justifiable--was even natural.'
These were the sum of her thoughts as she went, ever recurring to the point
how Walpole would feel offended by her absence, and how such a mark of her
indifference would pique his vanity, even to insult.
Then she pictured to her mind how this fine gentleman would feel the
boredom of that dreary day. True, it would be but a day; but these men were
not tolerant of the people who made time pass heavily with them, and they
revenged their own ennui on all around them. How he would snub the old
man for the son's pretensions, and sneer at the young man for his
disproportioned ambition; and last of all, how he would mystify poor Kate,
till she never knew whether he cared to fatten calves and turkeys, or was
simply drawing her on to little details, which he was to dramatise one day
in an after-dinner story.
She thought of the closed pianoforte, and her music on the top--the songs
he loved best; she had actually left Mendelssohn there to be seen--a very
bait to awaken his passion. She thought she actually saw the fretful
impatience with which he threw the music aside and walked to the window to
hide his anger.
'This excursion of Mademoiselle Nina was then a sudden thought, you tell
me; only planned last night? And is the country considered safe enough for
a young lady to go off in this fashion. Is it secure--is it decent? I know
he will ask, "Is it decent?" Kate will not feel--she will not see the
impertinence with which he will assure her that she herself may be
privileged to do these things; that her "Irishry" was itself a safeguard,
but Dick will notice the sneer. Oh, if he would but resent it! How little
hope there is of that. These young Irishmen get so overlaid by the English
in early life, they never resist their dominance: they accept everything in
a sort of natural submission. I wonder does the rebel sentiment make them
any bolder?' And then she bethought her of some of those national songs Mr.
Daniel had been teaching her, and which seemed to have such an overwhelming
influence over his passionate nature. She had even seen the tears in his
eyes, and twice he could not speak to her with emotion. What a triumph it
would have been to have made the high-bred Mr. Walpole feel in this wise.
Possibly at the moment, the vulgar Fenian seemed the finer fellow. Scarcely
had the thought struck her, than there, about fifty yards in advance, and
walking at a tremendous pace, was the very man himself.
'Is not that Mr. Daniel, Larry?' asked she quickly.
But Larry had already struck off on a short cut across the bog, and was
Yes, it could be none other than Mr. Daniel. The coat thrown back, the
loose-stepping stride, and the occasional flourish of the stick as he went,
all proclaimed the man. The noise of the wheels on the hard road made him
turn his head; and now, seeing who it was, he stood uncovered till she
drove up beside him.
'Who would have thought to see you here at this hour?' said he, saluting
her with deep respect.
'No one is more surprised at it than myself,' said she, laughing; 'but I
have a partly-done sketch of an old castle, and I thought in this fine
autumn weather I should like to throw in the colour. And besides, there are
now and then with me unsocial moments when I fancy I like to be alone. Do
you know what these are?'
'Do I know?--too well.'
'These motives then, not to think of others, led me to plan this excursion;
and now will you be as candid, and say what is _your_ project?'
'I am bound for a little village called Cruhan: a very poor, unenticing
spot; but I want to see the people there, and hear what they say of these
rumours of new laws about the land.'
'And can _they_ tell you anything that would be likely to interest _you_?'
'Yes, their very mistakes would convey their hopes; and hopes have come to
mean a great deal in Ireland.'
'Our roads are then the same. I am on my way to Croghan Castle.'
'Croghan is but a mile from my village of Cruhan,' said he.
'I am aware of that, and it was in your village of Cruhan, as you call it,
I meant to stable my pony till I had finished my sketch; but my gentle
page, Larry, I see, has deserted me; I don't know if I shall find him
'Will you let me be your groom? I shall be at the village almost as soon as
yourself, and I'll look after your pony.'
'Do you think you could manage to seat yourself on that shelf at the back?'
'It is a great temptation you offer me, if I were not ashamed to be a
'Not to me, certainly; and as for the pony, I scarcely think he'll mind
'At all events, I shall walk the hills.'
'I believe there are none. If I remember aright, it is all through a level
'You were at tea last night when a certain telegram came?'
'To be sure I was. I was there, too, when one came for you, and saw you
leave the room immediately after.'
'In evident confusion?' added he, smiling.
'Yes, I should say, in evident confusion. At least, you looked like one who
had got some very unexpected tidings.'
'So it was. There is the message.' And he drew from his pocket a slip of
paper, with the words,' Walpole is coming for a day. Take care to be out of
the way till he is gone.'
'Which means that he is no friend of yours.'
'He is neither friend nor enemy. I never saw him; but he is the private
secretary, and, I believe, the nephew of the Viceroy, and would find it
very strange company to be domiciled with a rebel.'
'And you are a rebel?'
'At your service, Mademoiselle Kostalergi.'
'And a Fenian, and head-centre?'
'A Fenian and a head-centre.'
'And probably ought to be in prison?'
'I have been already, and as far as the sentence of English law goes,
should be still there.'
'How delighted I am to know that. I mean, what a thrilling sensation it is
to be driving along with a man so dangerous, that the whole country would
be up and in pursuit of him at a mere word.'
'That is true. I believe I should be worth a few hundred pounds to any one
who would capture me. I suspect it is the only way I could turn to valuable
'What if I were to drive you into Moate and give you up?'
'You might. I'll not run away.'
'I should go straight to the Podesta, or whatever he is, and say, "Here is
the notorious Daniel Donogan, the rebel you are all afraid of.'"
'How came you by my name?' asked he curtly.
'By accident. I overheard Dick telling it to his sister. It dropped from
him unawares, and I was on the terrace and caught the words.'
'I am in your hands completely,' said he, in the same calm voice; 'but I
repeat my words: I'll not run away.'
'That is, because you trust to my honour.'
'It is exactly so--because I trust to your honour.'
'But how if I were to have strong convictions in opposition to all you were
doing--how if I were to believe that all you intended was a gross wrong and
a fearful cruelty?'
'Still you would not betray me. You would say, "This man is an
enthusiast--he imagines scores of impossible things--but, at least, he is
not a self-seeker--a fool possibly, but not a knave. It would be hard to
'So it would. I have just thought _that_.'
'And then you might reason thus: "How will it serve the other cause to send
one poor wretch to the scaffold, where there are so many just as deserving
'And are there many?'
'I should say close on two millions at home here, and some hundred thousand
'And if you be as strong as you say, what craven creatures you must be not
to assert your own convictions.'
'So we are--I'll not deny it--craven creatures; but remember this,
mademoiselle, we are not all like-minded. Some of us would be satisfied
with small concessions, some ask for more, some demand all; and as the
Government higgles with some, and hangs the others, they mystify us all,
and end by confounding us.'
'That is to say, you are terrified.'
'Well, if you like that word better, I'll not quarrel about it.'
'I wonder how men as irresolute ever turn to rebellion. When our people set
out for Crete, they went in another spirit to meet the enemy.'
'Don't be too sure of that. The boldest fellows in that exploit were the
liberated felons: they fought with desperation, for they had left the
'How dare you defame a great people!' cried she angrily.
'I was with them, mademoiselle. I saw them and fought amongst them; and to
prove it, I will speak modern Greek with you, if you like it.'
'Oh! do,' said she. 'Let me hear those noble sounds again, though I shall
be sadly at a loss to answer you. I have been years and years away from
'I know that. I know your story from one who loved to talk of you, all
unworthy as he was of such a theme.'
'And who was this?'
'Atlee--Joe Atlee, whom you saw here some months ago.'
'I remember him,' said she thoughtfully.
'He was here, if I mistake not, with that other friend of yours you have so
strangely escaped from to-day.'
'Yes, Mr. Walpole; to meet whom would not have involved _you_, at least, in
'Is this a question, sir? Am I to suppose your curiosity asks an answer
'I am not so bold; but I own my suspicions have mastered my discretion,
and, seeing you here this morning, I did think you did not care to meet
'Well, sir, you were right. I am not sure that _my_ reasons for avoiding
him were exactly as strong as _yours_, but they sufficed for _me_.'
There was something so like reproof in the way these words were uttered
that Donogan had not courage to speak for some time after. At last he said,
'In one thing, your Greeks have an immense advantage over us here. In your
popular songs you could employ your own language, and deal with your own
wrongs in the accents that became them. _We_ had to take the tongue of the
conqueror, which was as little suited to our traditions as to our feelings,
and travestied both. Only fancy the Greek vaunting his triumphs or
bewailing his defeats in Turkish!'
'What do you know of Mr. Walpole?' asked she abruptly.
'Very little beyond the fact that he is an agent of the Government, who
believes that he understands the Irish people.'
'Which you are disposed to doubt?'
'I only know that I am an Irishman, and I do not understand them. An organ,
however, is not less an organ that it has many "stops."'
'I am not sure Cecil Walpole does not read you aright. He thinks that you
have a love of intrigue and plot, but without the conspirator element that
Southern people possess; and that your native courage grows impatient at
the delays of mere knavery, and always betrays you.'
'That distinction was never _his_--that was your own.'
'So it was; but he adopted it when he heard it.'
'That is the way the rising politician is educated,' cried Donogan. 'It is
out of these petty thefts he makes all his capital, and the poor people
never suspect how small a creature can be their millionaire.'
'Is not that our village yonder, where I see the smoke?'
'Yes; and there on the stile sits your little groom awaiting you. I shall
get down here.'
'Stay where you are, sir. It is by your blunder, not by your presence, that
you might compromise me.' And this time her voice caught a tone of sharp
severity that suppressed reply.
The little village of Cruhan-bawn, into which they now drove, was, in every
detail of wretchedness, dirt, ruin, and desolation, intensely Irish. A
small branch of the well-known bog-stream, the 'Brusna,' divided one
part of the village from the other, and between these two settlements so
separated there raged a most rancorous hatred and jealousy, and Cruhan-beg,
as the smaller collection of hovels was called, detested Cruhan-bawn with
an intensity of dislike that might have sufficed for a national antipathy,
where race, language, and traditions had contributed their aids to the
There was, however, one real and valid reason for this inveterate jealousy.
The inhabitants of Cruhan-beg--who lived, as they said themselves, 'beyond
the river'--strenuously refused to pay any rent for their hovels; while
'the cis-Brusnaites,' as they may be termed, demeaned themselves to the
condition of tenants in so far as to acknowledge the obligation of rent,
though the oldest inhabitant vowed he had never seen a receipt in his life,
nor had the very least conception of a gale-day.
If, therefore, actually, there was not much to separate them on the score
of principle, they were widely apart in theory, and the sturdy denizens of
the smaller village looked down upon the others as the ignoble slaves of a
Saxon tyranny. The village in its entirety--for the division was a purely
local and arbitrary one--belonged to Miss Betty O'Shea, forming the extreme
edge of her estate as it merged into the vast bog; and, with the habitual
fate of frontier populations, it contained more people of lawless lives and
reckless habits than were to be found for miles around. There was not a
resource of her ingenuity she had not employed for years back to bring
these refractory subjects into the pale of a respectable tenantry. Every
process of the law had been essayed in turn. They had been hunted down by
the police, unroofed, and turned into the wide bog; their chattels had been
'canted,' and themselves--a last resource--cursed from the altar; but with
that strange tenacity that pertains to life where there is little to live
for, these creatures survived all modes of persecution, and came back into
their ruined hovels to defy the law and beard the Church, and went on
living--in some strange, mysterious way of their own--an open challenge to
all political economy, and a sore puzzle to the _Times_ commissioner when
he came to report on the condition of the cottier in Ireland.
At certain seasons of county excitement--such as an election or an
unusually weighty assizes--it was not deemed perfectly safe to visit the
village, and even the police would not have adventured on the step except
with a responsible force. At other periods, the most marked feature of the
place would be that of utter vacuity and desolation. A single inhabitant
here and there smoking listlessly at his door--a group of women, with their
arms concealed beneath their aprons, crouching under a ruined wall--or a
few ragged children, too miserable and dispirited even for play, would be
all that would be seen.
At a spot where the stream was fordable for a horse, the page Larry had
already stationed himself, and now walked into the river, which rose over
his knees, to show the road to his mistress.
'The bailiffs is on them to-day,' said he, with a gleeful look in his
eye; for any excitement, no matter at what cost to others, was intensely
pleasurable to him.
'What is he saying?' asked Nina.
'They are executing some process of law against these people,' muttered
Donogan. 'It's an old story in Ireland; but I had as soon you had been
spared the sight.'
'Is it quite safe for yourself?' whispered she. 'Is there not some danger
in being seen here?'
'Oh, if I could but think that you cared--I mean ever so slightly,' cried
he, with fervour, 'I'd call this moment of my danger the proudest of my
Though declarations of this sort--more or less sincere as chance might make
them--were things Nina was well used to, she could not help marking the
impassioned manner of him who now spoke, and bent her eyes steadily on him.
'It is true,' said he, as if answering the interrogation in her gaze. 'A
poor outcast as I am--a rebel--a felon--anything you like to call me--the
slightest show of your interest in me gives my life a value, and my hope a
purpose I never knew till now.'
'Such interest would be but ill-bestowed if it only served to heighten your
danger. Are you known here?'
'He who has stood in the dock, as I have, is sure to be known by some one.
Not that the people would betray me. There is poverty and misery enough in
that wretched village, and yet there's not one so hungry or so ragged that
he would hand me over to the law to make himself rich for life.'
'Then what do you mean to do?' asked she hurriedly.
'Walk boldly through the village at the head of your pony, as I am
now--your guide to Croghan Castle.'
'But we were to have stabled the beast here. I intended to have gone on
foot to Croghan.'
'Which you cannot now. Do you know what English law is, lady?' cried he
fiercely. 'This pony and this carriage, if they had shelter here, are
confiscated to the landlord for his rent. It's little use to say _you_ owe
nothing to this owner of the soil; it's enough that they are found amongst
the chattels of his debtors.'
'I cannot believe this is law.'
'You can prove it--at the loss of your pony; and it is mercy and generous
dealing when compared with half the enactments our rulers have devised for
us. Follow me. I see the police have not yet come down. I will go on in
front and ask the way to Croghan.'
There was that sort of peril in the adventure now that stimulated Nina and
excited her; and as they stoutly wended their way through the crowd, she
was far from insensible to the looks of admiration that were bent on her
from every side.
'What are they saying?' asked she; 'I do not know their language.'
'It is Irish,' said he; 'they are talking of your beauty.'
'I should so like to follow their words,' said she, with the smile of one
to whom such homage had ever its charm.
'That wild-looking fellow, that seemed to utter an imprecation, has just
pronounced a fervent blessing; what he has said was, "May every glance of
your eye be a candle to light you to glory."'
A half-insolent laugh at this conceit was all Nina's acknowledgment of it.
Short greetings and good wishes were now rapidly exchanged between Donogan
and the people, as the little party made their way through the crowd--the
men standing bareheaded, and the women uttering words of admiration, some
even crossing themselves piously, at sight of such loveliness, as, to them,
recalled the ideal of all beauty.
'The police are to be here at one o'clock,' said Donogan, translating a
phrase of one of the bystanders.
'And is there anything for them to seize on?' asked she.
'No; but they can level the cabins,' cried he bitterly. 'We have no more
right to shelter than to food.'
Moody and sad, he walked along at the pony's head, and did not speak
another word till they had left the village far behind them.
Larry, as usual, had found something to interest him, and dropped behind in
the village, and they were alone.
A passing countryman, to whom Donogan addressed a few words in Irish, told
them that a short distance from Croghan they could stable the pony at a
On reaching this, Nina, who seemed to have accepted Donogan's companionship
without further question, directed him to unpack the carriage and take
out her easel and her drawing materials. 'You'll have to carry
these--fortunately not very far, though,' said she, smiling, 'and then
you'll have to come back here and fetch this basket.'
'It is a very proud slavery--command me how you will,' muttered he, not
'That,' continued she, pointing to the basket, 'contains my breakfast, and
luncheon or dinner, and I invite you to be my guest.'
'And I accept with rapture. Oh!' cried he passionately, 'what whispered to
my heart this morning that this would be the happiest day of my life!'
'If so, Fate has scarcely been generous to you.' And her lip curled half
superciliously as she spoke.
'I'd not say that. I have lived amidst great hopes, many of them dashed,
it is true, by disappointment; but who that has been cheered by glorious
daydreams has not tasted moments at least of exquisite bliss?'
'I don't know that I have much sympathy with political ambitions,' said she
'Have you tasted--have you tried them? Do you know what it is to feel the
heart of a nation throb and beat?--to know that all that love can do to
purify and elevate, can be exercised for the countless thousands of one's
own race and lineage, and to think that long after men have forgotten your
name, some heritage of freedom will survive to say that there once lived
one who loved his country.'
'This is very pretty enthusiasm.'
'Oh, how is it that you, who can stimulate one's heart to such confessions,
know nothing of the sentiment?'
'I have my ambitions,' said she coldly, almost sternly.
'Let me hear some of them.'
'They are not like yours, though they are perhaps just as impossible.' She
spoke in a broken, unconnected manner, like one who was talking aloud the
thoughts that came laggingly; then with a sudden earnestness she said,
'I'll tell you one of them. It's to catch the broad bold light that has
just beat on the old castle there, and brought out all its rich tints of
greys and yellows in such a glorious wealth of colour. Place my easel here,
under the trees; spread that rug for yourself to lie on. No--you won't have
it? Well, fold it neatly, and place it there for my feet: very nicely
done. And now, Signer Ribello, you may unpack that basket, and arrange our
breakfast, and when you have done all these, throw yourself down on the
grass, and either tell me a pretty story, or recite some nice verses for
me, or be otherwise amusing and agreeable.'
'Shall I do what will best please myself? If so, it will be to lie here and
look at you.'
'Be it so,' said she, with a sigh. 'I have always thought, in looking
at them, how saints are bored by being worshipped--it adds fearfully to
martyrdom, but happily I am used to it. "Oh, the vanity of that girl!" Yes,
sir, say it out: tell her frankly that if she has no friend to caution her
against this besetting wile, that you will be that friend. Tell her
that whatever she has of attraction is spoiled and marred by this
self-consciousness, and that just as you are a rebel without knowing it, so
should she be charming and never suspect it. Is not that coming nicely,'
said she, pointing to the drawing; 'see how that tender light is carried
down from those grey walls to the banks beneath, and dies away in that
little pool, where the faintest breath of air is rustling. Don't look at
me, sir, look at my drawing.'
'True, there is no tender light there,' muttered he, gazing at her eyes,
where the enormous size of the pupils had given a character of steadfast
brilliancy, quite independent of shape, or size, or colour.
'You know very little about it,' said she saucily; then, bending over the
drawing, she said, 'That middle distance wants a bit of colour: you shall
aid me here.'
'How am I to aid you?' asked he, in sheer simplicity.
'I mean that you should be that bit of colour. There, take my scarlet
cloak, and perch yourself yonder on that low rock. A few minutes will do.
Was there ever immortality so cheaply purchased! Your biographer shall tell
that you were the figure in that famous sketch--what will be called in the
cant of art, one of Nina Kostalergi's earliest and happiest efforts. There,
now, dear Mr. Donogan, do as you are bid.'
'Do you know the Greek ballad, where a youth remembers that the word "dear"
has been coupled with his name--a passing courtesy, if even so much, but
enough to light up a whole chamber in his heart?'
'I know nothing of Greek ballads. How does it go?'
'It is a simple melody, in a low key.' And he sang, in a deep but tremulous
voice, to a very plaintive air--
'I took her hand within my own,
I drew her gently nearer,
And whispered almost on her cheek,
"Oh, would that I were dearer."
Dearer! No, that's not my prayer:
A stranger, e'en the merest,
Might chance to have some value there;
But I would be the dearest.'
[Illustration: 'True, there is no tender light there,' muttered he, gazing
at her eyes]
'What had he done to merit such a hope?' said she haughtily.
'Loved her--only loved her!'
'What value you men must attach to this gift of your affection, when it can
nourish such thoughts as these! Your very wilfulness is to win us--is not
that your theory? I expect from the man who offers me his heart that he
means to share with me his own power and his own ambition--to make me the
partner of a station that is to give me some pre-eminence I had not known
before, nor could gain unaided.'
'And you would call that marrying for love?'
'Why not? Who has such a claim upon my life as he who makes the life worth
living for? Did you hear that shout?'
'I heard it,' said he, standing still to listen.
'It came from the village. What can it mean?'
'It's the old war-cry of the houseless,' said he mournfully. 'It's a note
we are well used to here. I must go down to learn. I'll be back presently.'
'You are not going into danger?' said she; and her cheek grew paler as she
'And if I were, who is to care for it?'
'Have you no mother, sister, sweetheart?'
'No, not one of the three. Good-bye.'
'But if I were to say--stay?'
'I should still go. To have your love, I'd sacrifice even my honour.
Without it--' he threw up his arms despairingly and rushed away.
'These are the men whose tempers compromise us,' said she thoughtfully. 'We
come to accept their violence as a reason, and take mere impetuosity for an
argument. I am glad that he did not shake my resolution. There, that was
another shout, but it seemed in joy. There was a ring of gladness in it.
Now for my sketch.' And she reseated herself before her easel. 'He shall
see when he comes back how diligently I have worked, and how small a share
anxiety has had in my thoughts. The one thing men are not proof against is
our independence of them.' And thus talking in broken sentences to herself,
she went on rapidly with her drawing, occasionally stopping to gaze on it,
and humming some old Italian ballad to herself. 'His Greek air was pretty.
Not that it was Greek; these fragments of melody were left behind them
by the Venetians, who, in all lust of power, made songs about contented
poverty and humble joys. I feel intensely hungry, and if my dangerous guest
does not return soon, I shall have to breakfast alone--another way of
showing him how little his fate has interested me. My foreground here does
want that bit of colour. Why does he not come back?' As she rose to look
at her drawing, the sound of somebody running attracted her attention, and
turning, she saw it was her foot-page Larry coming at full speed.
'What is it, Larry? What has happened?' asked she.
'You are to go--as fast as you can,' said he; which being for him a longer
speech than usual, seemed to have exhausted him.
'Go where? and why?'
'Yes,' said he, with a stolid look, 'you are.'
'I am to do what? Speak out, boy! Who sent you here?'
'Yes,' said he again.
'Are they in trouble yonder? Is there fighting at the village?'
'No.' And he shook his head, as though he said so regretfully.
'Will you tell me what you mean, boy?'
'The pony is ready?' said he, as he stooped down to pack away the things in
'Is that gentleman coming back here--that gentleman whom you saw with me?'
'He is gone; he got away.' And here he laughed in a malicious way, that was
more puzzling even than his words.
'And am I to go back home at once?'
'Yes,' replied he resolutely.
'Do you know why--for what reason?'
'Come, like a good boy, tell me, and you shall have this.' And she drew a
piece of silver from her purse, and held it temptingly before him. 'Why
should I go back, now?'
'Because,' muttered he, 'because--' and it was plain, from the glance in
his eyes, that the bribe had engaged all his faculties.
'So, then, you will not tell me?' said she, replacing the money in her
'Yes,' said he, in a despondent tone.
'You can have it still, Larry, if you will but say who sent you here.'
'_He_ sent me,' was the answer.
'Who was he? Do you mean the gentleman who came here with me?' A nod
assented to this. 'And what did he tell you to say to me?'
'Yes,' said he, with a puzzled look, as though once more the confusion of
his thoughts was mastering him.
'So, then, it is that you will not tell me?' said she angrily. He made no
answer, but went on packing the plates in the basket. 'Leave those there,
and go and fetch me some water from the spring yonder.' And she gave him a
jug as she spoke, and now she reseated herself on the grass. He obeyed at
once, and returned speedily with water.
'Come now, Larry,' said she kindly to him. 'I'm sure you mean to be a good
boy. You shall breakfast with me. Get me a cup, and I'll give you some
milk; here is bread and cold meat.'
'Yes,' muttered Larry, whose mouth was already too much engaged for speech.
'You will tell me by-and-by what they were doing at the village, and what
that shouting meant--won't you?'
'Yes,' said he, with a nod. Then suddenly bending his head to listen, he
motioned with his hand to keep silence, and after a long breath said,
'Who are coming?' asked she eagerly; but at the same instant a man emerged
from the copse below the hill, followed by several others, whom she saw by
their dress and equipment to belong to the constabulary.
Approaching with his hat in his hand, and with that air of servile civility
which marked him, old Gill addressed her. 'If it's not displazin' to ye,
miss, we want to ax you a few questions,' said he.
'You have no right, sir, to make any such request,' said she, with a
'There was a man with you, my lady,' he went on, 'as you drove through
Cruhan, and we want to know where he is now.'
'That concerns you, sir, and not me.'
'Maybe it does, my lady,' said he, with a grin; 'but I suppose you know who
you were travelling with?'
'You evidently don't remember, sir, whom you are talking to.'
'The law is the law, miss, and there's none of us above it,' said he, half
defiantly; 'and when there's some hundred pounds on a man's head, there's
few of us such fools as to let him slip through our fingers.'
'I don't understand you, sir, nor do I care to do so.'
'The sergeant there has a warrant against him,' said he, in a whisper
he intended to be confidential; 'and it's not to do anything that your
ladyship would think rude that I came up myself. There's how it is now,'
muttered he, still lower. 'They want to search the luggage, and examine
the baskets there, and maybe, if you don't object, they'd look through the
'And if I should object to this insult?' broke she in.
'Faix, I believe,' said he, laughing, 'they'd do it all the same. Eight
hundred--I think it's eight--isn't to be made any day of the year!'
'My uncle is a justice of the peace, Mr. Gill; and you know if he will
suffer such an outrage to go unpunished.'
'There's the more reason that a justice shouldn't harbour a Fenian, miss,'
said he boldly; 'as he'll know when he sees the search-warrant.'
'Get ready the carriage, Larry,' said she, turning contemptuously away,
'and follow me towards the village.'
'The sergeant, miss, would like to say a word or two,' said Gill, in his
accustomed voice of servility.
'I will not speak with him,' said she proudly, and swept past him.
The constables stood to one side, and saluted in military fashion as she
passed down the hill. There was that in her queenlike gesture and carriage
that so impressed them, the men stood as though on parade.
Slowly and thoughtfully as she sauntered along, her thoughts turned to
Donogan. Had he escaped? was the idea that never left her. The presence of
these men here seemed to favour that impression; but there might be others
on his track, and if so, how in that wild bleak space was he to conceal
himself? A single man moving miles away on the bog could be seen. There was
no covert, no shelter anywhere! What an interest did his fate now suggest,
and yet a moment back she believed herself indifferent to him. 'Was he
aware of his danger,' thought she,' when he lay there talking carelessly to
me? was that recklessness the bravery of a bold man who despised peril?'
And if so, what stuff these souls were made of! These were not of the
Kearney stamp, that needed to be stimulated and goaded to any effort in
life; nor like Atlee, the fellow who relied on trick and knavery for
success; still less such as Walpole, self-worshippers and triflers. 'Yes,'
said she aloud,' a woman might feel that with such a man at her side the
battle of life need not affright her. He might venture too far--he might
aspire to much that was beyond his reach, and strive for the impossible;
but that grand bold spirit would sustain him, and carry him through all the
smaller storms of life: and such a man might be a hero, even to her who saw
him daily. These are the dreamers, as we call them,' said she. 'How strange
it would be if _they_ should prove the realists, and that it was _we_
should be the mere shadows! If these be the men who move empires and make
history, how doubly ignoble are we in our contempt of them.' And then she
bethought her what a different faculty was that great faith that these men
had in themselves from common vanity; and in this way she was led again to
compare Donogan and Walpole.
She reached the village before her little carriage had overtaken her, and
saw that the people stood about in groups and knots. A depressing silence
prevailed over them, and they rarely spoke above a whisper. The same
respectful greeting, however, which welcomed her before, met her again; and
as they lifted their hats, she saw, or thought she saw, that they looked on
her with a more tender interest. Several policemen moved about through the
crowd, who, though they saluted her respectfully, could not refrain from
scrutinising her appearance and watching her as she went. With that air
of haughty self-possession which well became her--for it was no
affectation--she swept proudly along, resolutely determined not to utter a
word, or even risk a question as to the way.
Twice she turned to see if her pony were coming, and then resumed her road.
From the excited air and rapid gestures of the police, as they hurried
from place to place, she could guess that up to this Donogan had not been
captured. Still, it seemed hopeless that concealment in such a place could
As she gained the little stream that divided the village, she stood for a
moment uncertain, when a countrywoman, as it were divining her difficulty,
said, 'If you'll cross over the bridge, my lady, the path will bring you
out on the highroad.'
As Nina turned to thank her, the woman looked up from her task of washing
in the river, and made a gesture with her hand towards the bog. Slight as
the action was, it appealed to that Southern intelligence that reads a sign
even faster than a word. Nina saw that the woman meant to say Donogan had
escaped, and once more she said, 'Thank you--from my heart I thank you!'
Just as she emerged upon the highroad, her pony and carriage came up. A
sergeant of police was, however, in waiting beside it, who, saluting her
respectfully, said, 'There was no disrespect meant to you, miss, by our
search of the carriage--our duty obliged us to do it. We have a warrant to
apprehend the man that was seen with you this morning, and it's only that
we know who you are, and where you come from, prevents us from asking you
to come before our chief.'
He presented his arm to assist her to her place as he spoke; but she
declined the help, and, without even noticing him in any way, arranged
her rugs and wraps around her, took the reins, and motioning Larry to his
place, drove on.
'Is my drawing safe?--have all my brushes and pencils been put in?' asked
she, after a while. But already Larry had taken his leave, and she could
see him as he flitted across the bog to catch her by some short cut.
That strange contradiction by which a woman can journey alone and in safety
through the midst of a country only short of open insurrection, filled her
mind as she went, and thinking of it in every shape and fashion occupied
her for miles of the way. The desolation, far as the eye could reach, was
complete--there was not a habitation, not a human thing to be seen. The
dark-brown desert faded away in the distance into low-lying clouds, the
only break to the dull uniformity being some stray 'clamp,' as it is
called, of turf, left by the owners from some accident of season or bad
weather, and which loomed out now against the sky like a vast fortress.
This long, long day--for so without any weariness she felt it--was now in
the afternoon, and already long shadows of these turf-mounds stretched
their giant limbs across the waste. Nina, who had eaten nothing since early
morning, felt faint and hungry. She halted her pony, and taking out some
bread and a bottle of milk, proceeded to make a frugal luncheon. The
complete loneliness, the perfect silence, in which even the rattling of
the harness as the pony shook himself made itself felt, gave something
of solemnity to the moment, as the young girl sat there and gazed half
terrified around her.
As she looked, she thought she saw something pass from one turf-clamp to
the other, and, watching closely, she could distinctly detect a figure
crouching near the ground, and, after some minutes, emerging into the open
space, again to be hidden by some vast turf-mound. There, now--there could
not be a doubt--it was a man, and he was waving his handkerchief as a
signal. It was Donogan himself--she could recognise him well. Clearing the
long drains at a bound, and with a speed that vouched for perfect training,
he came rapidly forward, and, leaping the wide trench, alighted at last on
the road beside her.
'I have watched you for an hour, and but for this lucky halt, I should not
have overtaken you after all,' cried he, as he wiped his brow and stood
panting beside her.
'Do you know that they are in pursuit of you?' cried she hastily.
'I know it all. I learned it before I reached the village, and in
time--only in time--to make a circuit and reach the bog. Once there, I defy
the best of them.'
'They have what they call a warrant to search for you.'
'I know that too,' cried he. 'No, no!' said he passionately, as she offered
him a drink, 'let me have it from the cup you have drank from. It may be
the last favour I shall ever ask you--don't refuse me this!'
She touched the glass slightly with her lips, and handed it to him with a
'What peril would I not brave for this!' cried he, with a wild ecstasy.
'Can you not venture to return with me?' said she, in some confusion, for
the bold gleam of his gaze now half abashed her.
'No. That would be to compromise others as well as myself. I must gain
Dublin how I can. There I shall be safe against all pursuit. I have come
back for nothing but disappointment,' added he sorrowfully. 'This country
is not ready to rise--they are too many-minded for a common effort. The men
like Wolfe Tone are not to be found amongst us now, and to win freedom you
must dare the felony.'
'Is it not dangerous to delay so long here?' asked she, looking around her
'So it is--and I will go. Will you keep this for me?' said he, placing a
thick and much-worn pocket-book in her hands. 'There are papers there would
risk far better heads than mine; and if I should be taken, these must not
be discovered. It may be, Nina--oh, forgive me if I say your name! but it
is such joy to me to utter it once--it may be that you should chance to
hear some word whose warning might save me. If so, and if you would deign
to write to me, you'll find three, if not four, addresses, under any of
which you could safely write to me.'
'I shall not forget. Good fortune be with you. Adieu!'
She held out her hand; but he bent over it, and kissed it rapturously; and
when he raised his head, his eyes were streaming, and his cheeks deadly
pale. 'Adieu!' said she again.
He tried to speak, but no sound came from his lips; and when, after she had
driven some distance away, she turned to look after him, he was standing on
the same spot in the road, his hat at his foot, where it had fallen when he
stooped to kiss her hand.
Kate Kearney was in the act of sending out scouts and messengers to look
out for Nina, whose long absence had begun to alarm her, when she heard
that she had returned and was in her room.
'What a fright you have given me, darling!' said Kate, as she threw her
arms about her, and kissed her affectionately. 'Do you know how late you
'No; I only know how tired I am.'
'What a long day of fatigue you must have gone through. Tell me of it all.'
'Tell me rather of yours. You have had the great Mr. Walpole here: is it
'Yes; he is still here--he has graciously given us another day, and will
not leave till to-morrow night.'
'By what good fortune have you been so favoured as this?'
'Ostensibly to finish a long conversation or conference with papa, but
really and truthfully, I suspect, to meet Mademoiselle Kostalergi, whose
absence has piqued him.'
'Yes, piqued is the word. It is the extreme of the pain he is capable of
feeling. What has he said of it?'
'Nothing beyond the polite regrets that courtesy could express, and then
adverted to something else.'
'With an abruptness that betrayed preparation?'
'Not perhaps, but certainly so. Vanity such as his has no variety. It
repeats its moods over and over; but why do we talk of him? I have other
things to tell you of. You know that man who came here with Dick. That Mr.
'I know--I know,' cried the other hurriedly, 'what of him?'
'He joined me this morning, on my way through the bog, and drove with me to
'Indeed!' muttered Kate thoughtfully.
'A strange, wayward, impulsive sort of creature--unlike any
one--interesting from his strong convictions--'
'Did he convert you to any of his opinions, Nina?'
'You mean, make a rebel of me. No; for the simple reason that I had none to
surrender. I do not know what is wrong here, nor what people would say was
'You are aware, then, who he is?'
'Of course I am. I was on the terrace that night when your brother told you
he was Donogan--the famous Fenian Donogan. The secret was not intended for
me, but I kept it all the same, and I took an interest in the man from the
time I heard it.'
'You told him, then, that you knew who he was.'
'To be sure I did, and we are fast friends already; but let me go on
with my narrative. Some excitement, some show of disturbance at Cruhan,
persuaded him that what he called--I don't know why--the Crowbar Brigade
was at work and that the people were about to be turned adrift on the world
by the landlord, and hearing a wild shout from the village, he insisted on
going back to learn what it might mean. He had not left me long, when your
late steward, Gill, came up with several policemen, to search for the
convict Donogan. They had a warrant to apprehend him, and some information
as to where he had been housed and sheltered.'
'Here--with you! Gill knew it all. This, then, was the reason for that
excitement we had seen in the village--the people had heard the police were
coming, but for what they knew not; of course the only thought was for
their own trouble.'
'Has he escaped? Is he safe?'
'Safe so far, that I last saw him on the wide bog, some eight miles away
from any human habitation; but where he is to turn to, or who is to shelter
him, I cannot say.'
'He told you there was a price upon his head?'
'Yes, a few hundred pounds, I forget how much, but he asked me this morning
if I did not feel tempted to give him up and earn the reward.'
Kate leaned her head upon her hand, and seemed lost in thought.
'They will scarcely dare to come and search for him here,' said she; and,
after a pause, added, 'And yet I suspect that the chief constable, Mr.
Curtis, owes, or thinks he owes, us a grudge: he might not be sorry to pass
this slight upon papa.' And she pondered for some time over the thought.
'Do you think he can escape?' asked Nina eagerly.
'Yes, I suspect he will: these men have popular feeling with them, even
amongst many who do not share their opinions. Have you lived long enough
amongst us, Nina, to know that we all hate the law? In some shape or other
it represents to the Irish mind a tyranny.'
'You are Greeks without their acuteness,' said Nina.
'I'll not say that,' said Kate hastily. 'It is true I know nothing of your
people, but I think I could aver that for a shrewd calculation of the cost
of a venture, for knowing when caution and when daring will best succeed,
the Irish peasant has scarcely a superior anywhere.'
'I have heard much of his caution this very morning,' said Nina
'You might have heard far more of his recklessness, if Donogan cared to
tell of it,' said Kate, with irritation. 'It is not English squadrons and
batteries he is called alone to face, he has to meet English gold, that
tempts poverty, and English corruption, that begets treachery and betrayal.
The one stronghold of the Saxon here is the informer, and mind, I, who tell
you this, am no rebel. I would rather live under English law, if English
law would not ignore Irish feeling, than I'd accept that Heaven knows what
of a government Fenianism could give us.'
'I care nothing for all this, I don't well know if I can follow it; but I
do know that I'd like this man to escape. He gave me this pocket-book, and
told me to keep it safely. It contains some secrets that would compromise
people that none suspect, and it has, besides, some three or four addresses
to which I could write with safety if I saw cause to warn him of any coming
'And you mean to do this?'
'Of course I do; I feel an interest in this man. I like him. I like his
adventurous spirit. I like that ambitious daring to do or to be something
beyond the herd around him. I like that readiness he shows to stake his
life on an issue. His enthusiasm inflames his whole nature. He vulgarises
such fine gentlemen as Mr. Walpole, and such poor pretenders as Joe Atlee,
and, indeed, your brother, Kate.'
'I will suffer no detraction of Dick Kearney,' said Kate resolutely.
'Give me a cup of tea, then, and I shall be more mannerly, for I am quite
exhausted, and I am afraid my temper is not proof against starvation.'
'But you will come down to the drawing-room, they are all so eager to see
you,' said Kate caressingly.
'No; I'll have my tea and go to bed, and I'll dream that Mr. Donogan has
been made King of Ireland, and made an offer to share the throne with me.'
'Your Majesty's tea shall be served at once,' said Kate, as she curtsied
deeply and withdrew.
There were many more pretentious houses than O'Shea's Barn. It would
have been easy enough to discover larger rooms and finer furniture, more
numerous servants and more of display in all the details of life; but for
an air of quiet comfort, for the certainty of meeting with every material
enjoyment that people of moderate fortune aspire to, it stood unrivalled.
The rooms were airy and cheerful, with flowers in summer, as they were well
heated and well lighted in winter. The most massive-looking but luxurious
old arm-chairs, that modern taste would have repudiated for ugliness,
abounded everywhere; and the four cumbrous but comfortable seats that stood
around the circular dinner-table--and it was a matter of principle with
Miss Betty that the company should never be more numerous--only needed
speech to have told of traditions of conviviality for very nigh two
As for a dinner at the Barn, the whole countyside confessed that they never
knew how it was that Miss Betty's salmon was 'curdier' and her mountain
mutton more tender, and her woodcocks racier and of higher flavour, than
any one else's. Her brown sherry you might have equalled--she liked the
colour and the heavy taste--but I defy you to match that marvellous port
which came in with the cheese, and as little, in these days of light
Bordeaux, that stout-hearted Sneyd's claret, in its ancient decanter, whose
delicately fine neck seemed fashioned to retain the bouquet.
The most exquisite compliment that a courtier ever uttered could not have
given Miss Betty the same pleasure as to hear one of her guests request a
second slice off 'the haunch.' This was, indeed, a flattery that appealed
to her finest sensibilities, and as she herself carved, she knew how to
reward that appreciative man with fat.
Never was the virtue of hospitality more self-rewarding than in her case;
and the discriminating individual who ate with gusto, and who never
associated the wrong condiment with his food, found favour in her eyes, and
was sure of re-invitation.
Fortune had rewarded her with one man of correct taste and exquisite palate
as a diner-out. This was the parish priest, the Rev. Luke Delany, who had
been educated abroad, and whose natural gifts had been improved by French
and Italian experiences. He was a small little meek man, with closely-cut
black hair and eyes of the darkest, scrupulously neat in dress, and, by his
ruffles and buckled shoes at dinner, affecting something of the abbe in his
appearance. To such as associated the Catholic priest with coarse manners,
vulgar expressions, or violent sentiments, Father Luke, with his low voice,
his well-chosen words, and his universal moderation, was a standing rebuke;
and many an English tourist who met him came away with the impression of
the gross calumny that associated this man's order with underbred habits
and disloyal ambitions. He spoke little, but he was an admirable listener,
and there was a sweet encouragement in the bland nod of his head, and a
racy appreciation in the bright twinkle of his humorous eye, that the
prosiest talker found irresistible.
There were times, indeed--stirring intervals of political excitement--when
Miss Betty would have liked more hardihood and daring in her ghostly
counsellor; but Heaven help the man who would have ventured on the open
avowal of such opinion or uttered a word in disparagement of Father Luke.
It was in that snug dinner-room I have glanced at that a party of four sat
over their wine. They had dined admirably, a bright wood fire blazed on the
hearth, and the scene was the emblem of comfort and quiet conviviality.
Opposite Miss O'Shea sat Father Delany, and on either side of her her
nephew Gorman and Mr. Ralph Miller, in whose honour the present dinner was
The Catholic bishop of the diocese had vouchsafed a guarded and cautious
approval of Mr. Miller's views, and secretly instructed Father Delany to
learn as much more as he conveniently could of the learned gentleman's
intentions before committing himself to a pledge of hearty support.
'I will give him a good dinner,' said Miss O'Shea, 'and some of the '45
claret, and if you cannot get his sentiments out of him after that, I wash
my hands of him.'
Father Delany accepted his share of the task, and assuredly Miss Betty did
not fail on her part.
The conversation had turned principally on the coming election, and Mr.
Miller gave a flourishing account of his success as a canvasser, and even
went the length of doubting if any opposition would be offered to him.
'Ain't you and young Kearney going on the same ticket?' asked Gorman, who
was too new to Ireland to understand the nice distinctions of party.
'Pardon me,' said Miller, 'we differ essentially. _We_ want a government in
Ireland--the Nationalists want none. _We_ desire order by means of timely
concessions and judicious boons to the people. They want disorder--the
display of gross injustice--content to wait for a scramble, and see what
can come of it.'
'Mr. Miller's friends, besides,' interposed Father Luke, 'would defend
the Church and protect the Holy See'--and this was said with a
Miller coughed twice, and said, 'Unquestionably. We have shown our hand
already--look what we have done with the Established Church.'
'You need not be proud of it,' cried Miss Betty. 'If you wanted to get rid
of the crows, why didn't you pull down the rookery?'
'At least they don't caw so loud as they used,' said the priest, smiling;
and Miller exchanged delighted glances with him for his opinion.
'I want to be rid of them, root and branch,' said Miss Betty.
'If you will vouchsafe us, ma'am, a little patience. Rome was not built in
a day. The next victory of our Church must be won by the downfall of the
English establishment. Ain't I right, Father Luke?'
'I am not quite clear about that,' said the priest cautiously. 'Equality is
not the safe road to supremacy.'
'What was that row over towards Croghan Castle this morning?' asked Gorman,
who was getting wearied with a discussion he could not follow. 'I saw the
constabulary going in force there this afternoon.'
'They were in pursuit of the celebrated Dan Donogan,' said Father Luke.
'They say he was seen at Moate.'
'They say more than that,' said Miss Betty. 'They say that he is stopping
at Kilgobbin Castle!'
'I suppose to conduct young Kearney's election,' said Miller, laughing.
'And why should they hunt him down?' asked Gorman. 'What has he done?'
'He's a Fenian--a head-centre--a man who wants to revolutionise Ireland,'
'And destroy the Church,' chimed in the priest.
'Humph!' muttered Gorman, who seemed to imply, Is this all you can lay to
his charge? 'Has he escaped? asked he suddenly.
'Up to this he has,' said Miller. 'I was talking to the constabulary chief
this afternoon, and he told me that the fellow is sure to be apprehended.
He has taken to the open bog, and there are eighteen in full cry after him.
There is a search-warrant, too, arrived, and they mean to look him up at
'To search Kilgobbin Castle, do you mean?' asked Gorman.
'Just so. It will be, as I perceive you think it, a great offence to Mr.
Kearney, and it is not impossible that his temper may provoke him to resist
'The mere rumour may materially assist his son's election,' said the priest
'Only with the party who have no votes, Father Luke,' rejoined Miller.
'That precarious popularity of the mob is about the most dangerous enemy a
man can have in Ireland.'
'You are right, sir,' said the priest blandly. 'The real favour of this
people is only bestowed on him who has gained the confidence of the
'If that be true,' cried Gorman, 'upon my oath I think you are worse off
here than in Austria. There, at least, we are beginning to think without
the permission of the Church.'
'Let us have none of your atheism here, young man,' broke in his aunt
angrily. 'Such sentiments have never been heard in this room before.'
'If I apprehend Lieutenant Gorman aright,' interposed Father Luke, 'he only
refers to the late movement of the Austrian Empire with reference to the
Concordat, on which, amongst religious men, there are two opinions.'
'No, no, you mistake me altogether,' rejoined Gorman. 'What I mean was,
that a man can read, and talk, and think in Austria without the leave of
the priest; that he can marry, and if he like, he can die without his
'Gorman, you are a beast,' said the old lady, 'and if you lived here, you
would be a Fenian.'
'You're wrong too, aunt,' replied he. 'I'd crush those fellows to-morrow if
I was in power here.'
'Mayhap the game is not so easy as you deem it,' interposed Miller.
'Certainly it is not so easy when played as you do it here. You deal with
your law-breakers only by the rule of legality: that is to say, you respect
all the regulations of the game towards the men who play false. You have
your cumbrous details, and your lawyers, and judges, and juries, and you
cannot even proclaim a county in a state of siege without a bill in your
blessed Parliament, and a basketful of balderdash about the liberty of the
subject. Is it any wonder rebellion is a regular trade with you, and that
men who don't like work, or business habits, take to it as a livelihood?'
'But have you never heard Curran's saying, young gentleman? "You cannot
bring an indictment against a nation,'" said Miller.
'I'd trouble myself little with indictments,' replied Gorman. 'I'd break
down the confederacy by spies; I'd seize the fellows I knew to be guilty,
and hang them.'
'Without evidence, without trial?'
'Very little of a trial, when I had once satisfied myself of the guilt.'
'Are you so certain that no innocent men might be brought to the scaffold?'
asked the priest mildly.
'No, I am not. I take it, as the world goes, very few of us go through life
without some injustice or another. I'd do my best not to hang the fellows
who didn't deserve it, but I own I'd be much more concerned about the
millions who wanted to live peaceably than the few hundred rapscallions
that were bent on troubling them.'
'I must say, sir,' said the priest, 'I am much more gratified to know that
you are a Lieutenant of Lancers in Austria than a British Minister in
'I have little doubt myself,' said the other, laughing, 'that I am more in
my place; but of this I am sure, that if we were as mealy-mouthed with our
Croats and Slovacks as you are with your Fenians, Austria would soon go to
'There is, however, a higher price on that man Donogan's head than Austria
ever offered for a traitor,' said Miller.
'I know how you esteem money here,' said Gorman, laughing. 'When all else
fails you, you fall back upon it.'
'Why did I know nothing of these sentiments, young man, before I asked you
under my roof?' said Miss Betty, in anger.
'You need never to have known them now, aunt, if these gentlemen had not
provoked them, nor indeed are they solely mine. I am only telling you what
you would hear from any intelligent foreigner, even though he chanced to be
a liberal in his own country.'
'Ah, yes,' sighed the priest: 'what the young gentleman says is too true.
The Continent is alarmingly infected with such opinions as these.'
'Have you talked on politics with young Kearney?' asked Miller.
'He has had no opportunity,' interposed Miss O'Shea. 'My nephew will be
three weeks here on Thursday next, and neither Mathew nor his son have
called on him.'
'Scarcely neighbourlike that, I must say,' cried Miller.
'I suspect the fault lies on my side,' said Gorman boldly. 'When I was
little more than a boy, I was never out of that house. The old man treated
me like a son. All the more, perhaps, as his own son was seldom at home,
and the little girl Kitty certainly regarded me as a brother; and though we
had our fights and squabbles, we cried very bitterly at parting, and each
of us vowed we should never like any one so much again. And now, after all,
here am I three weeks, within two hours' ride of them, and my aunt insists
that my dignity requires I should be first called on. Confound such
dignity! say I, if it lose me the best and the pleasantest friends I ever
had in my life.'
'I scarcely thought of _your_ dignity, Gorman O'Shea,' said the old lady,
bridling, 'though I did bestow some consideration on my own.'
'I'm very sorry for it, aunt, and I tell you fairly--and there's no
unpoliteness in the confession--that when I asked for my leave, Kilgobbin
Castle had its place in my thoughts as well as O'Shea's Barn.'
'Why not say it out, young gentleman, and tell me that the real charm of
coming here was to be within twelve miles of the Kearneys.'
'The merits of this house are very independent of contiguity,' said the
priest; and as he eyed the claret in his glass, it was plain that the
sentiment was an honest one.
'Fifty-six wine, I should say,' said Miller, as he laid down his glass.
'Forty-five, if Mr. Barton be a man of his word,' said the old lady
'Ah,' sighed the priest plaintively, 'how rarely one meets these old
full-bodied clarets nowadays. The free admission of French wines has
corrupted taste and impaired palate. Our cheap Gladstones have come upon us
like universal suffrage.'
'The masses, however, benefit,' remarked Miller.
'Only in the first moment of acquisition, and in the novelty of the gain,'
continued Father Luke; 'and then they suffer irreparably in the loss
of that old guidance, which once directed appreciation when there was
something to appreciate.'
'We want the priest again, in fact,' broke in Gorman.
'You must admit they understand wine to perfection, though I would humbly
hope, young gentleman,' said the Father modestly, 'to engage your good
opinion of them on higher grounds.'
'Give yourself no trouble in the matter, Father Luke,' broke in Miss Betty.
'Gorman's Austrian lessons have placed him beyond _your_ teaching.'
'My dear aunt, you are giving the Imperial Government a credit it never
deserved. They taught me as a cadet to groom my horse and pipeclay my
uniform, to be respectful to my corporal, and to keep my thumb on the seam
of my trousers when the captain's eye was on me; but as to what passed
inside my mind, if I had a mind at all, or what I thought of Pope, Kaiser,
or Cardinal, they no more cared to know it than the name of my sweetheart.'
'What a blessing to that benighted country would be one liberal statesman!'
exclaimed Miller: 'one man of the mind and capacity of our present
'Heaven forbid!' cried Gorman. 'We have confusion enough, without the
reflection of being governed by what you call here "healing measures."'
'I should like to discuss that point with you,' said Miller.
'Not now, I beg,' interposed Miss O'Shea. 'Gorman, will you decant another
'I believe I ought to protest against more wine,' said the priest, in his
most insinuating voice; 'but there are occasions where the yielding to
temptation conveys a moral lesson.'
'I suspect that I cultivate my nature a good deal in that fashion,' said
Gorman, as he opened a fresh bottle.
'This is perfectly delicious,' said Miller, as he sipped his glass; 'and if
I could venture to presume so far, I would ask leave to propose a toast.'
'You have my permission, sir,' said Miss Betty, with stateliness.
'I drink, then,' said he reverently, 'I drink to the long life, the good
health, and the unbroken courage of the Holy Father.'
There was something peculiarly sly in the twinkle of the priest's black eye
as he filled his bumper, and a twitching motion of the corner of his mouth
continued even as he said, 'To the Pope.'
'The Pope,' said Gorman as he eyed his wine--
'"Der Papst lebt herrlich in der Welt."'
'What are you muttering there?' asked his aunt fiercely.
'The line of an old song, aunt, that tells us how his Holiness has a jolly
time of it.'
'I fear me it must have been written in other days,' said Father Luke.
'There is no intention to desert or abandon him, I assure you,' said
Miller, addressing him in a low but eager tone. 'I could never--no Irishman
could--ally himself to an administration which should sacrifice the Holy
See. With the bigotry that prevails in England, the question requires most
delicate handling; and even a pledge cannot be given except in language so
vague and unprecise as to admit of many readings.'
'Why not bring in a Bill to give him a subsidy, a something per annum, or a
round sum down?' cried Gorman.
'Mr. Miller has just shown us that Exeter Hall might become dangerous.
English intolerance is not a thing to be rashly aroused.'
'If I had to deal with him, I'd do as Bright proposed with your landlords
here. I'd buy him out, give him a handsome sum for his interest, and let
'And how would you deal with the Church, sir?' asked the priest.
'I have not thought of that; but I suppose one might put it into
commission, as they say, or manage it by a Board, with a First Lord, like
'I will give you some tea, gentlemen, when you appear in the drawing-room,'
said Miss Betty, rising with dignity, as though her condescension in
sitting so long with the party had been ill rewarded by her nephew's
The priest, however, offered his arm, and the others followed as he left
AN EARLY GALLOP
Mathew Kearney had risen early, an unusual thing with him of late; but he
had some intention of showing his guest Mr. Walpole over the farm after
breakfast, and was anxious to give some preliminary orders to have
everything 'ship-shape' for the inspection.
To make a very disorderly and much-neglected Irish farm assume an air of
discipline, regularity, and neatness at a moment's notice, was pretty much
such an exploit as it would have been to muster an Indian tribe, and pass
them before some Prussian martinet as a regiment of guards.
To make the ill-fenced and misshapen fields seem trim paddocks, wavering
and serpentining furrows appear straight and regular lines of tillage,
weed-grown fields look marvels of cleanliness and care, while the lounging
and ragged population were to be passed off as a thriving and industrious
peasantry, well paid and contented, were difficulties that Mr. Kearney did
not propose to confront. Indeed, to do him justice, he thought there was
a good deal of pedantic and 'model-farming' humbug about all that English
passion for neatness he had read of in public journals, and as our
fathers--better gentlemen, as he called them, and more hospitable fellows
than any of us--had got on without steam-mowing and threshing, and
bone-crushing, he thought we might farm our properties without being either
blacksmiths or stokers.
'God help us,' he would say, 'I suppose we'll be chewing our food by steam
one of these days, and filling our stomachs by hydraulic pressure. But for
my own part, I like something to work for me that I can swear at when it
goes wrong. There's little use in cursing a cylinder.'
To have heard him amongst his labourers that morning, it was plain to see
that they were not in the category of machinery. On one pretext or another,
however, they had slunk away one by one, so that at last he found himself
storming alone in a stubble-field, with no other companion than one of
Kate's terriers. The sharp barking of this dog aroused him in the midst of
his imprecations, and looking over the dry-stone wall that inclosed the
field, he saw a horseman coming along at a sharp canter, and taking the
fences as they came like a man in a hunting-field. He rode well, and was
mounted upon a strong wiry hackney--a cross-bred horse, and of little money
value, but one of those active cats of horseflesh that a knowing hand can
appreciate. Now, little as Kearney liked the liberty of a man riding over
his ditches and his turnips when out of hunting season, his old love of
good horsemanship made him watch the rider with interest and even pleasure.
'May I never!' muttered he to himself, 'if he's not coming at this wall.'
And as the inclosure in question was built of large jagged stones, without
mortar, and fully four feet in height, the upper course being formed of a
sort of coping in which the stones stood edgewise, the attempt did look
somewhat rash. Not taking the wall where it was slightly breached, and
where some loose stones had fallen, the rider rode boldly at one of the
highest portions, but where the ground was good on either side.
'He knows what he's at!' muttered Kearney, as the horse came bounding over
and alighted in perfect safety in the field.
'Well done! whoever you are,' cried Kearney, delighted, as the rider
removed his hat and turned round to salute him.
'And don't you know me, sir?' asked he.
''Faith, I do not,' replied Kearney; 'but somehow I think I know the
chestnut. To be sure I do. There's the old mark on her knee, how ever she
found the man who could throw her down. Isn't she Miss O'Shea's Kattoo?'
'That she is, sir, and I'm her nephew.'
'Are you?' said Kearney dryly.
The young fellow was so terribly pulled up by the unexpected repulse--more
marked even by the look than the words of the other--that he sat unable
to utter a syllable. 'I had hoped, sir,' said he at last, 'that I had not
outgrown your recollection, as I can promise none of your former kindness
to me has outgrown mine.'
'But it took you three weeks to recall it, all the same,' said Kearney.
'It is true, sir, I am very nearly so long here; but my aunt, whose guest I
am, told me I must be called on first; that--I'm sure I can't say for whose
benefit it was supposed to be--I should not make the first visit; in fact,
there was some rule about the matter, and that I must not contravene it.
And although I yielded with a very bad grace, I was in a measure under
orders, and dared not resist.'
'She told you, of course, that we were not on our old terms: that there
was a coldness between the families, and we had seen nothing of each other
'Not a word of it, sir.'
'Nor of any reason why you should not come here as of old?'
'None, on my honour; beyond this piece of stupid etiquette, I never heard
of anything like a reason.'
'I am all the better pleased with my old neighbour,' said Kearney, in his
more genial tone. 'Not, indeed, that I ought ever to have distrusted her,
but for all that--Well, never mind,' muttered he, as though debating the
question with himself, and unable to decide it, 'you are here now--eh! You
are here now.'
'You almost make me suspect, sir, that I ought not to be here now.'
'At all events, if you were waiting for me you wouldn't be here. Is not
that true, young gentleman?'
'Quite true, sir, but not impossible to explain.' And he now flung himself
to the ground, and with the rein over his arm, came up to Kearney's side.
'I suppose, but for an accident, I should have gone on waiting for that
visit you had no intention to make me, and canvassing with myself how long
you were taking to make up your mind to call on me, when I heard only last
night that some noted rebel--I'll remember his name in a minute or two--was
seen in the neighbourhood, and that the police were on his track with a
warrant, and even intended to search for him here.'
'In my house--in Kilgobbin Castle?'
'Yes, here in your house, where, from a sure information, he had been
harboured for some days. This fellow--a head-centre, or leader, with a
large sum on his head--has, they say, got away; but the hope of finding
some papers, some clue to him here, will certainly lead them to search the
castle, and I thought I'd come over and apprise you of it at all events,
lest the surprise should prove too much for your temper.'
'Do they forget I'm in the commission of the peace?' said Kearney, in a
voice trembling with passion.
'You know far better than me how far party spirit tempers life in this
country, and are better able to say whether some private intention to
insult is couched under this attempt.'
'That's true,' cried the old man, ever ready to regard himself as the
object of some secret malevolence. 'You cannot remember this rebel's name,
'It was Daniel something--that's all I know.'
A long, fine whistle was Kearney's rejoinder, and after a second or two he
said, 'I can trust you, Gorman; and I may tell you they may be not so great
fools as I took them for. Not that I was harbouring the fellow, mind you;
but there came a college friend of Dick's here a few days back--a clever
fellow he was, and knew Ireland well--and we called him Mr. Daniel, and it
was but yesterday he left us and did not return. I have a notion now he was
the head-centre they're looking for.'
'Do you know if he has left any baggage or papers behind him?'
'I know nothing about this whatever, nor do I know how far Dick was in his
'You will be cool and collected, I am sure, sir, when they come here with
the search-warrant. You'll not give them even the passing triumph of seeing
that you are annoyed or offended?'
'That I will, my lad. I'm prepared now, and I'll take them as easy as if
it was a morning call. Come in and have your breakfast with us, and say
nothing about what we've been talking over.'
'Many thanks, sir, but I think--indeed I feel sure--I ought to go back at
once. I have come here without my aunt's knowledge, and now that I have
seen you and put you on your guard, I ought to go back as fast as I can.'
'So you shall, when you feed your beast and take something yourself. Poor
old Kattoo isn't used to this sort of cross-country work, and she's panting
there badly enough. That mare is twenty-one years of age.'
'She's fresh on her legs--not a curb nor a spavin, nor even a wind-gall
about her,' said the young man.
'And the reward for it all is to be ridden like a steeplechaser!' sighed
old Kearney. 'Isn't that the world over? Break down early, and you are a
good-for-nothing. Carry on your spirit, and your pluck, and your endurance
to a green old age, and maybe they won't take it out of you!--always
contrasting you, however, with yourself long ago, and telling the
bystanders what a rare beast you were in your good days. Do you think they
had dared to pass this insult upon _me_ when I was five-and-twenty or
thirty? Do you think there's a man in the county would have come on this
errand to search Kilgobbin when I was a young man, Mr. O'Shea?'
'I think you can afford to treat it with the contempt you have determined
to show it.'
'That's all very fine now,' said Kearney; 'but there was a time I'd rather
have chucked the chief constable out of the window and sent the sergeant
'I don't know whether that would have been better,' said Gorman, with a
'Neither do I; but I know that I myself would have felt better and easier
in my mind after it. I'd have eaten my breakfast with a good appetite, and
gone about my day's work, whatever it was, with a free heart and fearless
in my conscience! Ay, ay,' muttered he to himself, 'poor old Ireland isn't
what it used to be!'
'I'm very sorry, sir, but though I'd like immensely to go back with you,
don't you think I ought to return home?'
'I don't think anything of the sort. Your aunt and I had a tiff the last
time we met, and that was some months ago. We're both of us old and
cross-grained enough to keep up the grudge for the rest of our lives. Let
us, then, make the most of the accident that has led you here, and when
you go home, you shall be the bearer of the most submissive message I can
invent to my old friend, and there shall be no terms too humble for me to
ask her pardon.'
'That's enough, sir. I'll breakfast here.'
'Of course you'll say nothing of what brought you over here. But I ought
to warn you not to drop anything carelessly about politics in the county
generally, for we have a young relative and a private secretary of the
Lord-Lieutenant's visiting us, and it's as well to be cautious before him.'
The old man mentioned this circumstance in the cursory tone of an ordinary
remark, but he could not conceal the pride he felt in the rank and
condition of his guest. As for Gorman, perhaps it was his foreign breeding,
perhaps his ignorance of all home matters generally, but he simply assented
to the force of the caution, and paid no other attention to the incident.
'His name is Walpole, and he is related to half the peerage,' said the old
man, with some irritation of manner.
A mere nod acknowledged the information, and he went on--
'This was the young fellow who was with Kitty on the night they attacked
the castle, and he got both bones of his forearm smashed with a shot.'
'An ugly wound,' was the only rejoinder.
'So it was, and for a while they thought he'd lose the arm. Kitty says he
behaved beautifully, cool and steady all through.'
Another nod, but this time Gorman's lips were firmly compressed.
'There's no denying it,' said the old man, with a touch of sadness in his
voice--'there's no denying it, the English have courage; though,' added he
afterwards, 'it's in a cold, sluggish way of their own, which we don't like
here. There he is, now, that young fellow that has just parted from the two
girls. The tall one is my niece--I must present you to her.'
Though both Kate Kearney and young O'Shea had greatly outgrown each other's
recollection, there were still traits of feature remaining, and certain
tones of voice, by which they were carried back to old times and old
Amongst the strange situations in life, there are few stranger, or, in
certain respects, more painful, than the meeting after long absence of
those who, when they had parted years before, were on terms of closest
intimacy, and who now see each other changed by time, with altered habits
and manners, and impressed in a variety of ways with influences and
associations which impart their own stamp on character.
It is very difficult at such moments to remember how far we ourselves have
changed in the interval, and how much of what we regard as altered in
another may not simply be the new standpoint from which we are looking, and
thus our friend may be graver, or sadder, or more thoughtful, or, as it may
happen, seem less reflective and less considerative than we have thought
him, all because the world has been meantime dealing with ourselves in such
wise that qualities we once cared for have lost much of their value, and
others that we had deemed of slight account have grown into importance with
Most of us know the painful disappointment of revisiting scenes which had
impressed us strongly in early life: how the mountain we regarded with a
wondering admiration had become a mere hill, and the romantic tarn a pool
of sluggish water; and some of this same awakening pursues us in our
renewal of old intimacies, and we find ourselves continually warring with
Besides this, there is another source of uneasiness that presses
unceasingly. It is in imputing every change we discover, or think we
discover in our friend, to some unknown influences that have asserted their
power over him in our absence, and thus when we find that our arguments
have lost their old force, and our persuasions can be stoutly resisted, we
begin to think that some other must have usurped our place, and that there
is treason in the heart we had deemed to be loyally our own.
How far Kate and Gorman suffered under these irritations, I do not stop to
inquire, but certain it is, that all their renewed intercourse was
little other than snappish reminders of unfavourable change in each, and
assurances more frank than flattering that they had not improved in the
'How well I know every tree and alley of this old garden!' said he, as
they strolled along one of the walks in advance of the others. 'Nothing is
changed here but the people.'
'And do you think we are?' asked she quietly.
'I should think I do! Not so much for your father, perhaps. I suppose men
of his time of life change little, if at all; but you are as ceremonious as
if I had been introduced to you this morning.'
'You addressed me so deferentially as Miss Kearney, and with such an
assuring little intimation that you were not either very certain of _that_,
that I should have been very courageous indeed to remind you that I once
'No, not Kate--Kitty,' rejoined he quickly.
'Oh yes, perhaps, when you were young, but we grew out of that.'
'Did we? And when?'
'When we gave up climbing cherry-trees, and ceased to pull each other's
hair when we were angry.'
'Oh dear!' said he drearily, as his head sank heavily.
'You seem to sigh over those blissful times, Mr. O'Shea,' said she, 'as if
they were terribly to be regretted.'
'So they are. So I feel them.'
'I never knew before that quarrelling left such pleasant associations.'
'My memory is good enough to remember times when we were not
quarrelling--when I used to think you were nearer an angel than a human
creature--ay, when I have had the boldness to tell you so.'
'You don't mean _that_?'
'I do mean it, and I should like to know why I should not mean it?'
'For a great many reasons--one amongst the number, that it would have been
highly indiscreet to turn a poor child's head with a stupid flattery.'
'But were you a child? If I'm right, you were not very far from fifteen at
the time I speak of.'
'How shocking that you should remember a young lady's age!'
'That is not the point at all,' said he, as though she had been
endeavouring to introduce another issue.
'And what is the point, pray?' asked she haughtily.
'Well, it is this--how many have uttered what you call stupid flatteries
since that time, and how have they been taken.'
'Is this a question?' asked she. 'I mean a question seeking to be
'I hope so.'
'Assuredly, then, Mr. O'Shea, however time has been dealing with _me_, it
has contrived to take marvellous liberties with _you_ since we met. Do you
know, sir, that this is a speech you would not have uttered long ago for
'If I have forgotten myself as well as you,' said he, with deep humility,
'I very humbly crave pardon. Not but there were days, 'added he, 'when my
mistake, if I made one, would have been forgiven without my asking.'
'There's a slight touch of presumption, sir, in telling me what a wonderful
person I used to think you long ago.'
'So you did,' cried he eagerly. 'In return for the homage I laid at your
feet--as honest an adoration as ever a heart beat with--you condescended to
let me build my ambitions before you, and I must own you made the edifice
very dear to me.'
'To be sure, I do remember it all, and I used to play or sing, "_Mein
Schatz ist ein Reiter_," and take your word that you were going to be a
"In file arrayed,
With helm and blade,
And plume in the gay wind dancing."
I'm certain my cousin would be charmed to see you in all your bravery.'
'Your cousin will not speak to me for being an Austrian.'
'Has she told you so?'
'Yes, she said it at breakfast.'
'That denunciation does not sound very dangerously; is it not worth your
while to struggle against a misconception?'
'I have had such luck in my present attempt as should scarcely raise my
'You are too ingenious by far for me, Mr. O'Shea,' said she carelessly. 'I
neither remember so well as you, nor have I that nice subtlety in detecting
all the lapses each of us has made since long ago. Try, however, if you
cannot get on better with Mademoiselle Kostalergi, where there are no
antecedents to disturb you.'
'I will; that is if she let me.'
'I trust she may, and not the less willingly, perhaps, as she evidently
will not speak to Mr. Walpole.'
'Ah, indeed, and is _he_ here?' he stopped and hesitated; and the full bold