Part 5 out of 10
"So, Anty, you wouldn't come to mass?" he began.
"Maybe I'll go next Sunday," said she.
"It's a long time since you missed mass before, I'm thinking."
"Not since the Sunday afther father's death."
"It's little you were thinking then how soon you'd be stopping down
here with us at the inn."
"That's thrue for you, Martin, God knows."
At this point of the conversation Martin stuck fast: he did not know
Rosalind's recipe  for the difficulty a man feels, when he finds
himself gravelled for conversation with his mistress; so he merely
scratched his head, and thought hard to find what he'd say next. I
doubt whether the conviction, which was then strong on his mind, that
Meg was listening at the keyhole to every word that passed, at all
assisted him in the operation. At last, some Muse came to his aid, and
he made out another sentence.
[FOOTNOTE 29: Rosalind's recipe--In _As You Like It_, Act III,
Sc. ii, Rosalind, disguised as a young man,
instructs Orlando to practice his wooing on her.]
"It was very odd my finding you down here, all ready before me, wasn't
"'Deed it was: your mother was a very good woman to me that morning,
"And tell me now, Anty, do you like the inn?"
"'Deed I do--but it's quare, like."
"Why, having Meg and Jane here: I wasn't ever used to anyone to talk
to, only just the servants."
"You'll have plenty always to talk to now--eh, Anty?" and Martin tried
a sweet look at his lady love.
"I'm shure I don't know. Av' I'm only left quiet, that's what I most
"But, Anty, tell me--you don't want always to be what you call quiet?"
"Oh! but I do--why not?"
"But you don't mane, Anty, that you wouldn't like to have some kind of
work to do--some occupation, like?"
"Why, I wouldn't like to be idle; but a person needn't be idle because
"And that's thrue, Anty." And Martin broke down again.
"There'd be a great crowd in chapel, I suppose?" said Anty.
"There was a great crowd."
"And what was father Geoghegan preaching about?"
"Well, then, I didn't mind. To tell the truth, Anty, I came out most
as soon as the preaching began; only I know he told the boys to pray
that the liberathor might be got out of his throubles; and so they
should--not that there's much to throuble him, as far as the verdict's
"Isn't there then? I thought they made him out guilty?"
"So they did, the false ruffians: but what harum 'll that do? they
daren't touch a hair of his head!"
Politics, however, are not a favourable introduction to love-making:
so Martin felt, and again gave up the subject, in the hopes that he
might find something better. "What a fool the man is!" thought Meg to
herself, at the door--"if I had a lover went on like that, wouldn't I
pull his ears!"
Martin got up--walked across the room--looked out of the little
window--felt very much ashamed of himself, and, returning, sat himself
down on the sofa.
"Anty," he said, at last, blushing nearly brown as he spoke; "Were you
thinking of what I was spaking to you about before I went to Dublin?"
Anty blushed also, now. "About what?" she said.
"Why, just about you and me making a match of it. Come, Anty, dear,
what's the good of losing time? I've been thinking of little else; and,
after what's been between us, you must have thought the matther over
too, though you do let on to be so innocent. Come, Anty, now that you
and mother's so thick, there can be nothing against it."
"But indeed there is, Martin, a great dale against it--though I'm sure
it's good of you to be thinking of me. There's so much against it, I
think we had betther be of one mind, and give it over at once."
"And what's to hinder us marrying, Anty, av' yourself is plazed? Av'
you and I, and mother are plazed, sorrow a one that I know of has a
word to say in the matther."
"But Barry don't like it!"
"And, afther all, are you going to wait for what Barry likes? You
didn't wait for what was plazing to Barry Lynch when you came down
here; nor yet did mother when she went up and fetched you down at five
in the morning, dreading he'd murdher you outright. And it was thrue
for her, for he would, av' he was let, the brute. And are you going to
wait for what he likes?"
"Whatever he's done, he's my brother; and there's only the two of us."
"But it's not that, Anty--don't you know it's not that? Isn't it
because you're afraid of him? because he threatened and frightened you?
And what on 'arth could he do to harum you av' you was the wife of--of
a man who'd, anyway, not let Barry Lynch, or anyone else, come between
you and your comfort and aise?"
"But you don't know how wretched I've been since he spoke to me
about--about getting myself married: you don't know what I've suffered;
and I've a feeling that good would never come of it."
"And, afther all, are you going to tell me now, that I may jist go my
own way? Is that to be your answer, and all I'm to get from you?"
"Don't be angry with me, Martin. I'm maning to do everything for the
"Maning?--what's the good of maning? Anyways, Anty, let me have an
answer, for I'll not be making a fool of myself any longer. Somehow,
all the boys here, every sowl in Dunmore, has it that you and I is to
be married--and now, afther promising me as you did--"
"Oh, I never promised, Martin."
"It was all one as a promise--and now I'm to be thrown overboard. And
why?--because Barry Lynch got dhrunk, and frightened you. Av' I'd seen
the ruffian striking you, I think I'd 've been near putting it beyond
him to strike another woman iver again."
"Glory be to God that you wasn't near him that night," said Anty,
crossing herself. "It was bad enough, but av' the two of you should
ever be set fighting along of me, it would kill me outright."
"But who's talking of fighting, Anty, dear?" and Martin drew a little
nearer to her--"who's talking of fighting? I never wish to spake
another word to Barry the longest day that ever comes. Av' he'll get
out of my way, I'll go bail he'll not find me in his."
"But he wouldn't get out of your way, nor get out of mine, av' you and
I got married: he'd be in our way, and we'd be in his, and nothing
could iver come of it but sorrow and misery, and maybe bloodshed."
"Them's all a woman's fears. Av' you an I were once spliced by the
priest, God bless him, Barry wouldn't trouble Dunmore long afther."
"That's another rason, too. Why should I be dhriving him out of his own
house? you know he's a right to the house, as well as I."
"Who's talking of dhriving him out? Faith, he'd be welcome to stay
there long enough for me! He'd go, fast enough, without dhriving,
though; you can't say the counthry wouldn't have a good riddhance of
him. But never mind that, Anty: it wasn't about Barry, one way or the
other, I was thinking, when I first asked you to have me; nor it wasn't
about myself altogether, as I could let you know; though, in course,
I'm not saying but that myself's as dear to myself as another, an'
why not? But to tell the blessed truth, I was thinking av' you too;
and that you'd be happier and asier, let alone betther an' more
respecthable, as an honest man's wife, as I'd make you, than being
mewed up there in dread of your life, never daring to open your mouth
to a Christian, for fear of your own brother, who niver did, nor niver
will lift a hand to sarve you, though he wasn't backward to lift it to
sthrike you, woman and sisther though you were. Come, Anty, darlin," he
added, after a pause, during which he managed to get his arm behind
her back, though he couldn't be said to have it fairly round her
waist--"Get quit of all these quandaries, and say at once, like an
honest girl, you'll do what I'm asking--and what no living man can
hindher you from or say against it.--Or else jist fairly say you won't,
and I'll have done with it."
Anty sat silent, for she didn't like to say she wouldn't; and she
thought of her brother's threats, and was afraid to say she would.
Martin advanced a little in his proceedings, however, and now succeeded
in getting his arm round her waist--and, having done so, he wasn't slow
in letting her feel its pressure. She made an attempt, with her hand,
to disengage herself--certainly not a successful, and, probably, not a
very energetic attempt, when the widow's step was heard on the stairs.
Martin retreated from his position on the sofa, and Meg from hers
outside the door, and Mrs Kelly entered the room, with Barry's letter
in her hand, Meg following, to ascertain the cause of the unfortunate
XVIII. AN ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN CONNAUGHT
"Anty, here's a letter for ye," began the widow. "Terry's brought it
down from the house, and says it's from Misther Barry. I b'lieve he was
in the right not to bring it hisself."
"A letther for me, Mrs Kelly? what can he be writing about? I don't
just know whether I ought to open it or no;" and Anty trembled, as she
turned the epistle over and over again in her hands.
"What for would you not open it? The letther can't hurt you, girl,
whatever the writher might do."
Thus encouraged, Anty broke the seal, and made herself acquainted with
the contents of the letter which Daly had dictated; but she then found
that her difficulties had only just commenced. Was she to send an
answer, and if so, what answer? And if she sent none, what notice ought
she to take of it? The matter was one evidently too weighty to be
settled by her own judgment, so she handed the letter to be read, first
by the widow, and then by Martin, and lastly by the two girls, who, by
this time, were both in the room.
"Well, the dethermined impudence of that blackguard!" exclaimed Mrs
Kelly. "Conspiracy!--av' that don't bang Banagher! What does the man
mean by 'conspiracy,' eh, Martin?"
"Faith, you must ask himself that, mother; and then it's ten to one he
can't tell you."
"I suppose," said Meg, "he wants to say that we're all schaming to rob
Anty of her money--only he daren't, for the life of him, spake it out
"Or, maybe," suggested Jane, "he wants to bring something agen us like
this affair of O'Connell's--only he'll find, down here, that he an't
got Dublin soft goods to deal wid."
Then followed a consultation, as to the proper steps to be taken in the
The widow advised that father Geoghegan should be sent for to indite
such a reply as a Christian ill-used woman should send to so base a
letter. Meg, who was very hot on the subject, and who had read of some
such proceeding in a novel, was for putting up in a blank envelope the
letter itself, and returning it to Barry by the hands of Jack, the
ostler; at the same time, she declared that "No surrender" should be
her motto. Jane was of opinion that "Miss Anastasia Lynch's compliments
to Mr Barry Lynch, and she didn't find herself strong enough to move to
Dunmore House at present," would answer all purposes, and be, on the
whole, the safest course. While Martin pronounced that "if Anty would
be led by him, she'd just pitch the letter behind the fire an' take no
notice of it, good, bad, or indifferent."
None of these plans pleased Anty, for, as she remarked, "After all,
Barry was her brother, and blood was thickher than wather." So, after
much consultation, pen, ink, and paper were procured, and the following
letter was concocted between them, all the soft bits having been great
stumbling-blocks, in which, however, Anty's quiet perseverance carried
the point, in opposition to the wishes of all the Kellys. The words put
in brackets were those peculiarly objected to.
Dunmore Inn. February, 1844.
I (am very sorry I) can't come back to the house, at any rate just
at present. I am not very sthrong in health, and there are kind
female friends about me here, which you know there couldn't be up at
Anty herself, in the original draft inserted "ladies," but the widow's
good sense repudiated the term, and insisted on the word "females":
Jane suggested that "females" did not sound quite respectful alone, and
Martin thought that Anty might call them "female friends," which was
--Besides, there are reasons why I'm quieter here, till things are a
little more settled. I will forgive (and forget) all that happened
up at the house between us--
"Why, you can't forget it," said Meg. "Oh, I could, av' he was kind to
me. I'd forget it all in a week av' he was kind to me," answered Anty--
(and I will do nothing particular without first letting you know).
They were all loud against this paragraph, but they could not carry
I must tell you, dear Barry, that you are very much mistaken about
the people of this house: they are dear, kind friends to me, and,
wherever I am, I must love them to the last day of my life--but
indeed I am, and hope you believe so,
Your affectionate sister,
When the last paragraph was read over Anty's shoulder, Meg declared she
was a dear, dear creature: Jane gave her a big kiss, and began crying;
even the widow put the corner of her apron to her eye, and Martin,
trying to look manly and unconcerned, declared that he was "quite shure
they all loved her, and they'd be brutes and bastes av' they didn't!"
The letter, as given above, was finally decided on; written, sealed,
and despatched by Jack, who was desired to be very particular to
deliver it at the front door, with Miss Lynch's love, which was
accordingly done. All the care, however, which had been bestowed on it
did not make it palatable to Barry, who was alone when he received it,
and merely muttered, as he read it, "Confound her, low-minded slut!
friends, indeed! what business has she with friends, except such as
I please?--if I'd the choosing of her friends, they'd be a strait
waistcoat, and the madhouse doctor. Good Heaven! that half my
property--no, but two-thirds of it,--should belong to her!--the stupid,
These last pleasant epithets had reference to his respected progenitor.
On the same evening, after tea, Martin endeavoured to make a little
further advance with Anty, for he felt that he had been interrupted
just as she was coming round; but her nerves were again disordered, and
he soon found that if he pressed her now, he should only get a decided
negative, which he might find it very difficult to induce her to
Anty's letter was sent off early on the Monday morning--at least, as
early as Barry now ever managed to do anything--to the attorney at
Tuam, with strong injunctions that no time was to be lost in taking
further steps, and with a request that Daly would again come out to
Dunmore. This, however, he did not at present think it expedient to do.
So he wrote to Barry, begging him to come into Tuam on the Wednesday,
to meet Moylan, whom he, Daly, would, if possible, contrive to see on
the intervening day.
"Obstinate puppy!" said Barry to himself--"if he'd had the least pluck
in life he'd have broken the will, or at least made the girl out a
lunatic. But a Connaught lawyer hasn't half the wit or courage now that
he used to have." However, he wrote a note to Daly, agreeing to his
proposal, and promising to be in Tuam at two o'clock on the Wednesday.
On the following day Daly saw Moylan, and had a long conversation with
him. The old man held out for a long time, expressing much indignation
at being supposed capable of joining in any underhand agreement for
transferring Miss Lynch's property to his relatives the Kellys, and
declaring that he would make public to every one in Dunmore and Tuam
the base manner in which Barry Lynch was treating his sister. Indeed,
Moylan kept to his story so long and so firmly that the young attorney
was nearly giving him up; but at last he found his weak side.
"Well, Mr Moylan," he said, "then I can only say your own conduct is
very disinterested;--and I might even go so far as to say that you
appear to me foolishly indifferent to your own concerns. Here's the
agency of the whole property going a-begging: the rents, I believe, are
about a thousand a-year: you might be recaving them all by jist a word
of your mouth, and that only telling the blessed truth; and here,
you're going to put the whole thing into the hands of young Kelly;
throwing up even the half of the business you have got!"
"Who says I'm afther doing any sich thing, Mr Daly?"
"Why, Martin Kelly says so. Didn't as many as four or five persons hear
him say, down at Dunmore, that divil a one of the tenants'd iver pay a
haporth  of the November rents to anyone only jist to himself?
There was father Geoghegan heard him, an Doctor Ned Blake."
[FOOTNOTE 30: haporth--half-penny's worth]
"Maybe he'll find his mistake, Mr Daly."
"Maybe he will, Mr Moylan. Maybe we'll put the whole affair into
the courts, and have a regular recaver over the property, under the
Chancellor. People, though they're ever so respectable in their
way,--and I don't mane to say a word against the Kellys, Mr Moylan, for
they were always friends of mine--but people can't be allowed to make a
dead set at a property like this, and have it all their own way, like
the bull in the china-shop. I know there has been an agreement made,
and that, in the eye of the law, is a conspiracy. I positively know
that an agreement has been made to induce Miss Lynch to become Martin
Kelly's wife; and I know the parties to it, too; and I also know that
an active young fellow like him wouldn't be paying an agent to get in
his rents; and I thought, if Mr Lynch was willing to appoint you his
agent, as well as his sister's, it might be worth your while to lend us
a hand to settle this affair, without forcing us to stick people into a
witness-box whom neither I nor Mr Lynch--"
"But what the d----l can I--"
"Jist hear me out, Mr Moylan; you see, if they once knew--the Kellys I
mane--that you wouldn't lend a hand to this piece of iniquity--"
"Which piece of iniquity, Mr Daly?--for I'm entirely bothered."
"Ah, now, Mr Moylan, none of your fun: this piece of iniquity of
theirs, I say; for I can call it no less. If they once knew that you
wouldn't help 'em, they'd be obliged to drop it all; the matter'd never
have to go into court at all, and you'd jist step into the agency fair
and aisy; and, into the bargain, you'd do nothing but an honest man's
The old man broke down, and consented to "go agin the Kellys," as he
somewhat ambiguously styled his apostasy, provided the agency was
absolutely promised to him; and he went away with the understanding
that he was to come on the following day and meet Mr Lynch.
At two o'clock, punctual to the time of his appointment, Moylan was
there, and was kept waiting an hour in Daly's little parlour. At the
end of this time Barry came in, having invigorated his courage and
spirits with a couple of glasses of brandy. Daly had been for some time
on the look-out for him, for he wished to say a few words to him in
private, and give him his cue before he took him into the room where
Moylan was sitting. This could not well be done in the office, for
it was crowded. It would, I think, astonish a London attorney in
respectable practice, to see the manner in which his brethren towards
the west of Ireland get through their work. Daly's office was open to
all the world; the front door of the house, of which he rented the
ground floor, was never closed, except at night; nor was the door of
the office, which opened immediately into the hail.
During the hour that Moylan was waiting in the parlour, Daly was
sitting, with his hat on, upon a high stool, with his feet resting on a
small counter which ran across the room, smoking a pipe: a boy, about
seventeen years of age, Daly's clerk, was filling up numbers of those
abominable formulas of legal persecution in which attorneys deal, and
was plying his trade as steadily as though no February blasts were
blowing in on him through the open door, no sounds of loud and
boisterous conversation were rattling in his ears. The dashing manager
of one of the branch banks in the town was sitting close to the little
stove, and raking out the turf ashes with the office rule, while
describing a drinking-bout that had taken place on the previous
Sunday at Blake's of Blakemount; he had a cigar in his mouth, and was
searching for a piece of well-kindled turf, wherewith to light it. A
little fat oily shopkeeper in the town, who called himself a woollen
merchant, was standing with the raised leaf of the counter in his
hand, roaring with laughter at the manager's story. Two frieze coated
farmers, outside the counter, were stretching across it, and whispering
very audibly to Daly some details of litigation which did not appear
very much to interest him; and a couple of idle blackguards were
leaning against the wall, ready to obey any behest of the attorney's
which might enable them to earn a sixpence without labour, and
listening with all their ears to the different interesting topics of
conversation which might be broached in the inner office.
"Here's the very man I'm waiting for, at last," said Daly, when, from
his position on the stool, he saw, through the two open doors, the
bloated red face of Barry Lynch approaching; and, giving an impulse to
his body by a shove against the wall behind him, he raised himself on
to the counter, and, assisting himself by a pull at the collar of the
frieze coat of the farmer who was in the middle of his story, jumped to
the ground, and met his client at the front door.
"I beg your pardon, Mr Lynch," said he as soon as he had shaken hands
with him, "but will you just step up to my room a minute, for I want to
spake to you;" and he took him up into his bed-room, for he hadn't a
second sitting-room. "You'll excuse my bringing you up here, for the
office was full, you see, and Moylan's in the parlour."
"The d----l he is! He came round then, did he, eh, Daly?"
"Oh, I've had a terrible hard game to play with him. I'd no idea he'd
be so tough a customer, or make such a good fight; but I think I've
"There was a regular plan then, eh, Daly? Just as I said. It was a
regular planned scheme among them?"
"Wait a moment, and you'll know all about it, at least as much as I
know myself; and, to tell the truth, that's devilish little. But, if we
manage to break off the match, and get your sister clane out of the inn
there, you must give Moylan your agency, at any rate for two or three
"You haven't promised that?"
"But I have, though. We can do nothing without it: it was only when I
hinted that, that the old sinner came round."
"But what the deuce is it he's to do for us, after all?"
"He's to allow us to put him forward as a bugbear, to frighten the
Kellys with: that's all, and, if we can manage that, that's enough. But
come down now. I only wanted to warn you that, if you think the agency
is too high a price to pay for the man's services, whatever they may
be, you must make up your mind to dispense with them."
"Well," answered Barry, as he followed the attorney downstairs, "I
can't understand what you're about; but I suppose you must be right;"
and they went into the little parlour where Moylan was sitting.
Moylan and Barry Lynch had only met once, since the former had been
entrusted to receive Anty's rents, on which occasion Moylan had been
grossly insulted by her brother. Barry, remembering the meeting, felt
very awkward at the idea of entering into amicable conversation with
him, and crept in at the door like a whipped dog. Moylan was too old
to feel any such compunctions, and consequently made what he intended
to be taken as a very complaisant bow to his future patron. He was
an ill-made, ugly, stumpy man, about fifty; with a blotched face,
straggling sandy hair, and grey shaggy whiskers. He wore a long brown
great coat, buttoned up to his chin, and this was the only article of
wearing apparel visible upon him: in his hands he twirled a shining new
As soon as their mutual salutations were over, Daly commenced his
"There is no doubt in the world, Mr Lynch," said he, addressing Barry,
"that a most unfair attempt has been made by this family to get
possession of your sister's property--a most shameful attempt, which
the law will no doubt recognise as a misdemeanour. But I think we shall
be able to stop their game without any law at all, which will save
us the annoyance of putting Mr Moylan here, and other respectable
witnesses, on the table. Mr Moylan says that very soon afther your
father's will was made known--"
"Now, Mr Daly--shure I niver said a word in life at all about the
will," said Moylan, interrupting him.
"No, you did not: I mane, very soon afther you got the agency--"
"Divil a word I said about the agency, either."
"Well, well; some time ago--he says that, some time ago, he and Martin
Kelly were talking over your sister's affairs; I believe the widow was
"Ah, now, Mr Daly--why'd you be putting them words into my mouth?
sorrow a word of the kind I iver utthered at all."
"What the deuce was it you did say, then?"
"Faix, I don't know that I said much, at all."
"Didn't you say, Mr Moylan, that Martin Kelly was talking to you about
marrying Anty, some six weeks ago?"
"Maybe I did; he was spaking about it."
"And, if you were in the chair now, before a jury, wouldn't you swear
that there was a schame among them to get Anty Lynch married to Martin
Kelly? Come, Mr Moylan, that's all we want to know: if you can't say as
much as that for us now, just that we may let the Kellys know what sort
of evidence we could bring against them, if they push us, we must only
have you and others summoned, and see what you'll have to say then."
"Oh, I'd say the truth, Mr Daly--divil a less--and I'd do as much as
that now; but I thought Mr Lynch was wanting to say something about the
"Not a word then I've to say about it," said Barry, "except that I
won't let that robber, young Kelly, walk off with it, as long as
there's law in the land."
"Mr Moylan probably meant about the agency," observed Daly.
Barry looked considerably puzzled, and turned to the attorney for
assistance. "He manes," continued Daly, "that he and the Kellys are
good friends, and it wouldn't be any convenience to him just to say
anything that wouldn't be pleasing to them, unless we could make him
independent of them:--isn't that about the long and the short of it, Mr
"Indepindent of the Kellys, is it, Mr Daly?--Faix, thin, I'm teetotally
indepindent of them this minute, and mane to continue so, glory be to
God. Oh, I'm not afeard to tell the thruth agin ere a Kelly in Galway
or Roscommon--and, av' that was all, I don't see why I need have come
here this day. When I'm called upon in the rigular way, and has a
rigular question put me before the Jury, either at Sessions or 'Sizes,
you'll find I'll not be bothered for an answer, and, av' that's all, I
b'lieve I may be going,"--and he made a movement towards the door.
"Just as you please, Mr Moylan," said Daly; "and you may be sure that
you'll not be long without an opportunity of showing how free you are
with your answers. But, as a friend, I tell you you'll be wrong to lave
this room till you've had a little more talk with Mr Lynch and myself.
I believe I mentioned to you Mr Lynch was looking out for someone to
act as agent over his portion of the Dunmore property?"
Barry looked as black as thunder, but he said nothing.
"You war, Mr Daly. Av' I could accommodate Mr Lynch, I'm shure I'd be
happy to undhertake the business."
"I believe, Mr Lynch," said Daly, turning to the other, "I may go so
far as to promise Mr Moylan the agency of the whole property, provided
Miss Lynch is induced to quit the house of the Kellys? Of course, Mr
Moylan, you can see that as long as Miss Lynch is in a position of
unfortunate hostility to her brother, the same agent could not act for
both; but I think my client is inclined to put his property under your
management, providing his sister returns to her own home. I believe I'm
stating your wishes, Mr Lynch."
"Manage it your own way," said Barry, "for I don't see what you're
doing. If this man can do anything for me, why, I suppose I must pay
him for it; and if so, your plan's as good a way of paying him as
The attorney raised his hat with his hand, and scratched his head: he
was afraid that Moylan would have again gone off in a pet at Lynch's
brutality, but the old man sat quite quiet. He wouldn't have much
minded what was said to him, as long as he secured the agency.
"You see, Mr Moylan," continued Daly, "you can have the agency. Five
per cent. upon the rents is what my client--"
"No, Daly--Five per cent.!--I'm shot if I do!" exclaimed Barry.
"I'm gething twenty-five pounds per annum from Miss Anty, for her half,
and I wouldn't think of collecting the other for less," declared
And then a long battle followed on this point, which it required all
Daly's tact and perseverance to adjust. The old man was pertinacious,
and many whispers had to be made into Barry's ear before the matter
could be settled. It was, however, at last agreed that notice was to be
served on the Kellys, of Barry Lynch's determination to indict them for
a conspiracy; that Daly was to see the widow, Martin, and, if possible,
Anty, and tell them all that Moylan was prepared to prove that such a
conspiracy had been formed;--care was also to be taken that copies of
the notices so served should be placed in Anty's hands. Moylan, in the
meantime, agreed to keep out of the way, and undertook, should he be
unfortunate enough to encounter any of the family of the Kellys, to
brave the matter out by declaring that "av' he war brought before the
Judge and Jury he couldn't do more than tell the blessed thruth, and
why not?" In reward for this, he was to be appointed agent over the
entire property the moment that Miss Lynch left the inn, at which time
he was to receive a document, signed by Barry, undertaking to retain
him in the agency for four years certain, or else to pay him a hundred
pounds when it was taken from him.
These terms having been mutually agreed to, and Barry having, with many
oaths, declared that he was a most shamefully ill-used man, the three
separated. Moylan skulked off to one of his haunts in the town; Barry
went to the bank, to endeavour to get a bill discounted ; and Daly
returned to his office, to prepare the notices for the unfortunate
widow and her son.
[FOOTNOTE 30: bill discounted--A common way for young men to
borrow money in nineteenth century Britain was to
sign a promissory note (an "I.O.U."), often called a
"bill," to repay the loan at a specified time. The
lender gave the borrower less than the face value
of the note (that is, he "discounted" the note),
the difference being the interest. Sometimes these
notes were co-signed by a third party, who became
responsible for repaying the loan if the borrower
defaulted; this is one of the major themes in
Trollope's later book _Framley Parsonage_. Trollope
himself was quite familiar with methods of
borrowing, having gotten into debt in his youth.]
XIX. MR DALY VISITS THE DUNMORE INN
Daly let no grass grow under his feet, for early on the following
morning he hired a car, and proceeded to Dunmore, with the notices in
his pocket. His feelings were not very comfortable on his journey, for
he knew that he was going on a bad errand, and he was not naturally
either a heartless or an unscrupulous man, considering that he was a
provincial attorney; but he was young in business, and poor, and he
could not afford to give up a client. He endeavoured to persuade
himself that it certainly was a wrong thing for Martin Kelly to marry
such a woman as Anty Lynch, and that Barry had some show of justice on
his side; but he could not succeed. He knew that Martin was a frank,
honourable fellow, and that a marriage with him would be the very thing
most likely to make Anty happy; and he was certain, moreover, that,
however anxious Martin might naturally be to secure the fortune, he
would take no illegal or even unfair steps to do so. He felt that his
client was a ruffian of the deepest die: that his sole object was to
rob his sister, and that he had no case which it would be possible even
to bring before a jury. His intention now was, merely to work upon the
timidity and ignorance of Anty and the other females, and to frighten
them with a bugbear in the shape of a criminal indictment; and Daly
felt that the work he was about was very, very dirty work. Two or three
times on the road, he had all but made up his mind to tear the letters
he had in his pocket, and to drive at once to Dunmore House, and tell
Barry Lynch that he would do nothing further in the case. And he would
have done so, had he not reflected that he had gone so far with Moylan,
that he could not recede, without leaving it in the old rogue's power
to make the whole matter public.
As he drove down the street of Dunmore, he endeavoured to quiet his
conscience, by reflecting that he might still do much to guard Anty
from the ill effects of her brother's rapacity; and that at any rate he
would not see her property taken from her, though she might be
frightened out of her matrimonial speculation.
He wanted to see the widow, Martin, and Anty, and if possible to see
them, at first, separately; and fortune so far favoured him that, as he
got off the car, he saw our hero standing at the inn door.
"Ah! Mr Daly," said he, coming up to the car and shaking hands with the
attorney, for Daly put out his hand to him--"how are you again?--I
suppose you're going up to the house? They say you're Barry's right
hand man now. Were you coming into the inn?"
"Why, I will step in just this minute; but I've a word I want to spake
to you first."
"To me!" said Martin.
"Yes, to you, Martin Kelly: isn't that quare?" and then he gave
directions to the driver to put up the horse, and bring the car round
again in an hour's time. "D' you remember my telling you, the day we
came into Dunmore on the car together, that I was going up to the
"Faith I do, well; it's not so long since."
"And do you mind my telling you, I didn't know from Adam what it was
for, that Barry Lynch was sending for me?"
"And I remember that, too."
"And that I tould you, that when I did know I shouldn't tell you?"
"Begad you did, Mr Daly; thim very words."
"Why then, Martin, I tould you what wasn't thrue, for I'm come all the
way from Tuam, this minute, to tell you all about it."
Martin turned very red, for he rightly conceived that when an attorney
came all the way from Tuam to talk to him, the tidings were not likely
to be agreeable.
"And is it about Barry Lynch's business?"
"Then it's schames there's divil a doubt of that."
"It is schames, as you say, Martin," said Daly, slapping him on the
shoulder--"fine schames--no less than a wife with four hundred a-year!
Wouldn't that be a fine schame?"
"'Deed it would, Mr Daly, av' the wife and the fortune were honestly
"And isn't it a hundred pities that I must come and upset such a pretty
schame as that? But, for all that, it's thrue. I'm sorry for you,
Martin, but you must give up Anty Lynch."
"Give her up, is it? Faith I haven't got her to give up, worse luck."
"Nor never will, Martin; and that's worse luck again."
"Well, Mr Daly, av' that's all you've come to say, you might have saved
yourself car-hire. Miss Lynch is nothing to me, mind; how should she
be? But av' she war, neither Barry Lynch--who's as big a rogue as there
is from this to hisself and back again--nor you, who, I take it, ain't
rogue enough to do Barry's work, wouldn't put me off it."
"Well, Martin; thank 'ee for the compliment. But now, you know what
I've come about, and there's no joke in it. Of course I don't want you
to tell me anything of your plans; but, as Mr Lynch's lawyer, I must
tell you so much as this of his:--that, if his sister doesn't lave
the inn, and honestly assure him that she'll give up her intention of
marrying you, he's determined to take proceedings." He then fumbled in
his pocket, and, bringing out the two notices, handed to Martin the one
addressed to him. "Read that, and it'll give you an idea what we're
afther. And when I tell you that Moylan owns, and will swear to it too,
that he was present when all the plans were made, you'll see that we're
not going to sea without wind in our sails."
"Well--I'm shot av' I know the laist in the world what all this is
about!" said Martin, as he stood in the street, reading over the
legally-worded letter--"'conspiracy!'--well that'll do, Mr Daly; go
on--'enticing away from her home!'--that's good, when the blackguard
nearly knocked the life out of her, and mother brought her
down here, from downright charity, and to prevent murdher--'wake
intellects!'--well, Mr Daly, I didn't expect this kind of thing from
you: begorra, I thought you were above this!--wake intellects! faith,
they're a dale too sthrong, and too good--and too wide awake too, for
Barry to get the betther of her that way. Not that I'm in the laist in
life surprised at anything he'd do; but I thought that you, Mr Daly,
wouldn't put your hands to such work as that."
Daly felt the rebuke, and felt it strongly, too; but now that he was
embarked in the business, he must put the best face he could upon it.
Still it was a moment or two before he could answer the young farmer.
"Why," he said--"why did you put your hands to such a dirty job as
this, Martin?--you were doing well, and not in want--and how could you
let anyone persuade you to go and sell yourself to, an ugly ould maid,
for a few hundred pounds? Don't you know, that if you were married to
her this minute, you'd have a lawsuit that'd go near to ruin you before
you could get possession of the property?"
"Av' I'm in want of legal advice, Mr Daly, which thank God, I'm not,
nor likely to be--but av' I war, it's not from Barry Lynch's attorney
I'd be looking for it."
"I'd be sorry to see you in want of it, Martin; but if you mane to keep
out of the worst kind of law, you'd better have done with Anty Lynch.
I'd a dale sooner be drawing up a marriage settlement between you and
some pretty girl with five or six hundred pound fortune, than I'd be
exposing to the counthry such a mane trick as this you're now afther,
of seducing a poor half-witted ould maid, like Anty Lynch, into a
"Look here, Mr Daly," said the other; "you've hired yourself out to
Barry Lynch, and you must do his work, I suppose, whether it's dirthy
or clane; and you know yourself, as well as I can tell you, which it's
likely to be--"
"That's my concern; lave that to me; you've quite enough to do to mind
"But av' he's nothing betther for you to do, than to send you here
bally-ragging and calling folks out of their name, he must have a sight
more money to spare than I give him credit for; and you must be a dale
worse off than your neighbours thought you, to do it for him."
"That'll do," said Mr Daly, knocking at the door of the inn; "only,
remember, Mr Kelly, you've now received notice of the steps which my
client feels himself called upon to take."
Martin turned to go away, but then, reflecting that it would be as well
not to leave the women by themselves in the power of the enemy, he also
waited at the door till it was opened by Katty.
"Is Miss Lynch within?" asked Daly.
"Go round to the shop, Katty," said Martin, "and tell mother to come to
the door. There's a gentleman wanting her."
"It was Miss Lynch I asked for," said Daly, still looking to the girl
for an answer.
"Do as I bid you, you born ideot, and don't stand gaping there,"
shouted Martin to the girl, who immediately ran off towards the shop.
"I might as well warn you, Mr Kelly, that, if Miss Lynch is denied
to me, the fact of her being so denied will be a very sthrong proof
against you and your family. In fact, it amounts to an illegal
detention of her person, in the eye of the law." Daly said this in a
very low voice, almost a whisper.
"Faith, the law must have quare eyes, av' it makes anything wrong with
a young lady being asked the question whether or no she wishes to see
an attorney, at eleven in the morning."
"An attorney!" whispered Meg to Jane and Anty at the top of the stairs.
"Heaven and 'arth," said poor Anty, shaking and shivering--"what's
going to be the matter now?"
"It's young Daly," said Jane, stretching forward and peeping clown the
stairs: "I can see the curl of his whiskers."
By this time the news had reached Mrs Kelly, in the shop, "that a
sthrange gentleman war axing for Miss Anty, but that she warn't to be
shown to him on no account;" so the widow dropped her tobacco knife,
flung off her dirty apron, and, having summoned Jane and Meg to attend
to the mercantile affairs of the establishment--turned into the inn,
and met Mr Daly and her son still standing at the bottom of the stairs.
The widow curtsied ceremoniously, and wished Mr. Daly good morning, and
he was equally civil in his salutation.
"Mr Daly's going to have us all before the assizes, mother. We'll never
get off without the treadmill, any way: it's well av' the whole kit of
us don't have to go over the wather at the queen's expense."
"The Lord be good to us;" said the widow, crossing herself. What's the
matter, Mr Daly?"
"Your son's joking, ma'am. I was only asking to see Miss Lynch, on
"Step upstairs, mother, into the big parlour, and don't let's be
standing talking here where all the world can hear us."
"And wilcome, for me, I'm shure"--said the widow, stroking down
the front of her dress with the palms of her hands, as she walked
upstairs--"and wilcome too for me I'm very shure. I've said or done
nothing as I wish to consail, Mr Daly. Will you be plazed to take a
chair?" and the widow sat down herself on a chair in the middle of the
room, with her hands folded over each other in her lap, as if she was
preparing to answer questions from that time to a very late hour in the
"And now, Mr Daly--av' you've anything to say to a poor widdy like me,
"My chief object in calling, Mrs Kelly, was to see Miss Lynch. Would
you oblige me by letting Miss Lynch know that I'm waiting to see her on
"Maybe it's a message from her brother, Mr Daly?" said Mrs Kelly.
"You had better go in to Miss Lynch, mother," said Martin, "and ask her
av' it's pleasing to her to see Mr Daly. She can see him, in course,
av' she likes."
"I don't see what good 'll come of her seeing him," rejoined the widow.
"With great respect to you, Mr Daly, and not maning to say a word agin
you, I don't see how Anty Lynch 'll be the betther for seeing ere an
attorney in the counthry."
"I don't want to frighten you, ma'am," said Daly; "but I can assure
you, you will put yourself in a very awkward position if you refuse to
allow me to see Miss Lynch."
"Ah, mother!" said Martin, "don't have a word to say in the matther
at all, one way or the other. Just tell Anty Mr Daly wishes to see
her--let her come or not, just as she chooses. What's she afeard of,
that she shouldn't hear what anyone has to say to her?"
The widow seemed to be in great doubt and perplexity, and continued
whispering with Martin for some time, during which Daly remained
standing with his back to the fire. At length Martin said, "Av' you've
got another of them notices to give my mother, Mr Daly, why don't you
"Why, to tell you the thruth," answered the attorney, "I don't want to
throuble your mother unless it's absolutely necessary; and although I
have the notice ready in my pocket, if I could see Miss Lynch, I might
be spared the disagreeable job of serving it on her."
"The Holy Virgin save us!" said the widow; "an' what notice is it at
all, you're going to serve on a poor lone woman like me?"
"Be said by me, mother, and fetch Anty in here. Mr Daly won't expect, I
suppose, but what you should stay and hear what it is he has to say?"
"Both you and your mother are welcome to hear all that I have to say to
the lady," said Daly; for he felt that it would be impossible for him
to see Anty alone.
The widow unwillingly got up to fetch her guest. When she got to the
door, she turned round, and said, "And is there a notice, as you calls
it, to be sarved on Miss Lynch?"
"Not a line, Mrs Kelly; not a line, on my honour. I only want her to
hear a few words that I'm commissioned by her brother to say to her."
"And you're not going to give her any paper--nor nothing of that sort
"Not a word, Mrs Kelly."
"Ah, mother," said Martin, "Mr Daly couldn't hurt her, av' he war
wishing, and he's not. Go and bring her in."
The widow went out, and in a few minutes returned, bringing Anty with
her, trembling from head to foot. The poor young woman had not exactly
heard what had passed between the attorney and the mother and her son,
but she knew very well that his visit had reference to her, and that it
was in some way connected with her brother. She had, therefore, been in
a great state of alarm since Meg and Jane had left her alone. When Mrs
Kelly came into the little room where she was sitting, and told her
that Mr Daly had come to Dunmore on purpose to see her, her first
impulse was to declare that she wouldn't go to him; and had she done
so, the widow would not have pressed her. But she hesitated, for she
didn't like to refuse to do anything which her friend asked her; and
when Mrs Kelly said, "Martin says as how the man can't hurt you, Anty,
so you'd betther jist hear what it is he has to say," she felt that she
had no loophole of escape, and got up to comply.
"But mind, Anty," whispered the cautious widow, as her hand was on the
parlour door, "becase this Daly is wanting to speak to you, that's no
rason you should be wanting to spake to him; so, if you'll be said by
me, you'll jist hould your tongue, and let him say on."
Fully determined to comply with this prudent advice, Anty followed the
old woman, and, curtseying at Daly without looking at him, sat herself
down in the middle of the old sofa, with her hands crossed before her.
"Anty," said Martin, making great haste to speak, before Daly could
commence, and then checking himself as he remembered that he shouldn't
have ventured on the familiarity of calling her by her Christian name
in Daly's presence--"Miss Lynch, I mane--as Mr Daly here has come all
the way from Tuam on purpose to spake to you, it wouldn't perhaps be
manners in you to let him go back without hearing him. But remember,
whatever your brother says, or whatever Mr Daly says for him--and it's
all--one you're still your own mistress, free to act and to spake, to
come and to go; and that neither the one nor the other can hurt you, or
mother, or me, nor anybody belonging to us."
"God knows," said Daly, "I want to have no hand in hurting any of you;
but, to tell the truth, Martin, it would be well for Miss Lynch to have
a better adviser than you or she may get herself, and, what she'll
think more of, she'll get her friends--maning you, Mrs Kelly, and your
family--into a heap of throubles."
"Oh, God forbid, thin!" exclaimed Anty.
"Niver mind us, Mr Daly," said the widow. "The Kellys was always able
to hould their own; thanks be to glory."
"Well, I've said my say, Mr Daly," said Martin, "and now do you say
your'n: as for throubles, we've all enough of thim; but your own must
have been bad, when you undhertook this sort of job for Barry Lynch."
"Mind yourself, Martin, as I told you before, and you'll about have
enough to do.--Miss Lynch, I've been instructed by your brother to draw
up an indictment against Mrs Kelly and Mr Kelly, charging them with
conspiracy to get possession of your fortune."
"A what!" shouted the widow, jumping up from her chair--"to rob Anty
Lynch of her fortune! I'd have you to know, Mr Daly, I wouldn't demane
myself to rob the best gentleman in Connaught, let alone a poor
unprotected young woman, whom I've--"
"Whist, mother--go asy," said Martin. "I tould you that that was what
war in the paper he gave me; he'll give you another, telling you all
about it just this minute."
"Well, the born ruffian! Does he dare to accuse me of wishing to rob
his sister! Now, Mr Daly, av' the blessed thruth is in you this minute,
don't your own heart know who it is, is most likely to rob Anty
Lynch?--Isn't it Barry Lynch himself is thrying to rob his own sisther
this minute? ay, and he'd murdher her too, only the heart within him
isn't sthrong enough."
"Ah, mother! don't be saying such things," said Martin; "what business
is that of our'n? Let Barry send what messages he plazes; I tell you
it's all moonshine; he can't hurt the hair of your head, nor Anty's
neither. Go asy, and let Mr Daly say what he has to say, and have done
"It's asy to say 'go asy'--but who's to sit still and be tould sich
things as that? Rob Anty Lynch indeed!"
"If you'll let me finish what I have to say, Mrs Kelly, I think you'll
find it betther for the whole of us," said Daly.
"Go on thin, and be quick with it; but don't talk to dacent people
about robbers any more. Robbers indeed! they're not far to fitch; and
black robbers too, glory be to God."
"Your brother, Miss Lynch, is determined to bring this matter before a
jury at the assizes, for the sake of protecting you and your property."
"Protecthing Anty Lynch!--is it Barry? The Holy Virgin defind her from
sich prothection! a broken head the first moment the dhrink makes his
heart sthrong enough to sthrike her!"
"Ah, mother! you're a fool," exclaimed Martin: "why can't you let the
man go on?--ain't he paid for saying it? Well, Mr Daly, begorra I pity
you, to have such things on your tongue; but go on, go on, and finish
"Your brother conceives this to be his duty," continued Daly, rather
bothered by the manner in which he had to make his communication, "and
it is a duty which he is determined to go through with."
"Duty!" said the widow, with a twist of her nose, and giving almost a
whistle through her lips, in a manner which very plainly declared the
contempt she felt for Barry's ideas of duty.
"With this object," continued Daly, "I have already handed to Martin
Kelly a notice of what your brother means to do; and I have another
notice prepared in my pocket for his mother. The next step will be to
swear the informations before a magistrate, and get the committals made
out; Mrs Kelly and her son will then have to give bail for their
appearance at the assizes."
"And so we can," said the widow; "betther bail than e'er a Lynch or
Daly--not but what the Dalys is respictable--betther bail, any way,
than e'er a Lynch in Galway could show, either for sessions or 'sizes,
by night or by day, winter or summer."
"Ah, mother! you don't understhand: he's maning that we're to be tried
in the dock, for staling Anty's money."
"Faix, but that'd be a good joke! Isn't Anty to the fore herself to say
who's robbed her? Take an ould woman's advice, Mr Daly, and go back to
Tuam: it ain't so asy to put salt on the tail of a Dunmore bird."
"And so I will, Mrs Kelly," said Daly; "but you must let me finish what
I have to tell Miss Lynch.--This will be a proceeding most disagreeable
to your brother's feelings."
"Failings, indeed!" muttered the widow; "faix, I b'lieve his chief
failing at present's for sthrong dhrink!"
"--But he must go on with it, unless you at once lave the inn, return
to your own home, and give him your promise that you will never marry
Anty blushed deep crimson over her whole face at the mention of her
contemplated marriage; and, to tell the truth, so did Martin.
"Here is the notice," said Daly, taking the paper out of his pocket;
"and the matter now rests with yourself. If you'll only tell me that
you'll be guided by your brother on this subject, I'll burn the notice
at once; and I'll undertake to say that, as far as your property is
concerned, your brother will not in the least interfere with you in the
management of it."
"And good rason why, Mr Daly," said the widow--"jist becase he can't."
"Well, Miss Lynch, am I to tell your brother that you are willing to
oblige him in this matter?"
Whatever effect Daly's threats may have had on the widow and her son,
they told strongly upon Anty; for she sat now the picture of misery and
indecision. At last she said: "Oh, Lord defend me! what am I to do, Mrs
"Do?" said Martin; "why, what should you do--but just wish Mr Daly good
morning, and stay where you are, snug and comfortable?"
"Av' you war to lave this, Anty, and go up to Dunmore House afther all
that's been said and done, I'd say Barry was right, and that
Ballinasloe Asylum was the fitting place for you," said the widow.
"The blessed virgin guide and prothect me," said Anty, "for I want her
guidance this minute. Oh, that the walls of a convent was round me this
minute--I wouldn't know what throuble was!"
"And you needn't know anything about throuble," said Martin, who didn't
quite like his mistress's allusion to a convent. "You don't suppose
there's a word of thruth in all this long story of Mr Daly's?--He
knows,--and I'll say it out to his face--he knows Barry don't dare
carry on with sich a schame. He knows he's only come here to frighten
you out of this, that Barry may have his will on you again."
"And God forgive him his errand here this day," said the widow, "for it
was a very bad one."
"If you will allow me to offer you my advice, Miss Lynch," said Daly,
"you will put yourself, at any rate for a time, under your brother's
"She won't do no sich thing," said the widow. "What! to be locked into
the parlour agin--and be nigh murdhered? holy father!"
"Oh, no," said Anty, at last, shuddering in horror at the remembrance
of the last night she passed in Dunmore House, "I cannot go back to
live with him, but I'll do anything else, av' he'll only lave me, and
my kind, kind friends, in pace and quiet."
"Indeed, and you won't, Anty," said the widow; "you'll do nothing for
him. Your frinds--that's av' you mane the Kellys--is very able to take
care of themselves."
"If your brother, Miss Lynch, will lave Dunmore House altogether, and
let you have it to yourself, will you go and live there, and give him
the promise not to marry Martin Kelly?"
"Indeed an' she won't," said the widow. "She'll give no promise of the
kind. Promise, indeed! what for should she promise Barry Lynch whom she
will marry, or whom she won't?"
"Raily, Mrs Kelly, I think you might let Miss Lynch answer for
"I wouldn't, for all the world thin, go to live at Dunmore House," said
"And you are determined to stay in this inn here?"
"In course she is--that's till she's a snug house of her own," said the
"Ah, mother!" said Martin, "what for will you be talking?"
"And you're determined," repeated Daly, "to stay here?"
"I am," faltered Anty.
"Then I have nothing further to do than to hand you this, Mrs
Kelly"--and he offered the notice to the widow, but she refused to
touch it, and he consequently put it down on the table. "But it is my
duty to tell you, Miss Lynch, that the gentry of this counthry, before
whom you will have to appear, will express very great indignation at
your conduct in persevering in placing poor people like the Kellys in
so dreadful a predicament, by your wilful and disgraceful obstinacy."
Poor Anty burst into tears. She had been for some time past trying to
restrain herself, but Daly's last speech, and the horrible idea of the
gentry of the country browbeating and frowning at her, completely upset
her, and she hid her face on the arm of the sofa, and sobbed aloud.
"Poor people like the Kellys!" shouted the widow, now for the first
time really angry with Daly--"not so poor, Mr Daly, as to do dirthy
work for anyone. I wish I could say as much this day for your mother's
son! Poor people, indeed! I suppose, now, you wouldn't call Barry Lynch
one of your poor people; but in my mind he's the poorest crature living
this day in county Galway. Av' you've done now, Mr Daly, you've my lave
to be walking; and the less you let the poor Kellys see of you, from
this time out, the betther."
When Anty's sobs commenced, Martin had gone over to her to comfort her,
"Ah, Anty, dear," he whispered to her, "shure you'd not be minding what
such a fellow as he'd be saying to you?--shure he's jist paid for all
this--he's only sent here by Barry to thry and frighten you,"--but
it was of no avail: Daly had succeeded at any rate in making her
miserable, and it was past the power of Martin's eloquence to undo what
the attorney had done.
"Well, Mr Daly," he said, turning round sharply, "I suppose you have
done here now, and the sooner you turn your back on this place the
betther--An' you may take this along with you. Av' you think you've
frightened my mother or me, you're very much mistaken."
"Yes," said Daly, "I have done now, and I am sorry my business has been
so unpleasant. Your mother, Martin, had betther not disregard that
notice. Good morning, Miss Lynch: good morning, Mrs Kelly; good
morning, Martin;" and Daly took up his hat, and left the room.
"Good morning to you, Mr Daly," said Martin: "as I've said before, I'm
sorry to see you've taken to this line of business."
As soon as the attorney was gone, both Martin and his mother attempted
to console and re-assure poor Anty, but they did not find the task an
easy one. "Oh, Mrs Kelly," she said, as soon as she was able to say
anything, "I'm sorry I iver come here, I am: I'm sorry I iver set my
foot in the house!"
"Don't say so, Anty, dear," said the widow. "What'd you be sorry
for--an't it the best place for you?"
"Oh! but to think that I'd bring all these throubles on you! Betther
be up there, and bear it all, than bring you and yours into law, and
sorrow, and expense. Only I couldn't find the words in my throat to
say it, I'd 've tould the man that I'd 've gone back at once. I wish
I had--indeed, Mrs Kelly, I wish I had."
"Why, Anty," said Martin, "you an't fool enough to believe what Daly's
been saying? Shure all he's afther is to frighthen you out of this.
Never fear: Barry can't hurt us a halfporth, though no doubt he's
willing enough, av' he had the way."
"I wish I was in a convent, this moment," said Anty. "Oh! I wish I'd
done as father asked me long since. Av' the walls of a convent was
around me, I'd niver know what throubles was."
"No more you shan't now," said Martin: "Who's to hurt you? Come, Anty,
look up; there's nothing in all this to vex you."
But neither son nor mother were able to soothe the poor young woman.
The very presence of an attorney was awful to her; and all the jargon
which Daly had used, of juries, judges, trials, and notices, had
sounded terribly in her ears. The very names of such things were to
her terrible realities, and she couldn't bring herself to believe that
her brother would threaten to make use of such horrible engines of
persecution, without having the power to bring them into action. Then,
visions of the lunatic asylum, into which he had declared that he would
throw her, flitted across her, and made her whole body shiver and
shake; and again she remembered the horrid glare of his eye, the hot
breath, and the frightful form of his visage, on the night when he
almost told her that he would murder her.
Poor Anty had at no time high or enduring spirits, but such as she
had were now completely quelled. A dreadful feeling of coming evil--a
foreboding of misery, such as will sometimes overwhelm stronger minds
than Anty's, seemed to stifle her; and she continued sobbing till she
fell into hysterics, when Meg and Jane were summoned to her assistance.
They sat with her for above an hour, doing all that kindness and
affection could suggest; but after a time Anty told them that she had a
cold, sick feeling within herself, that she felt weak and ill, and that
she'd sooner go to bed. To bed they accordingly took her; and Sally
brought her tea, and Katty lighted a fire in her room, and Jane read to
her an edifying article from the lives of the Saints, and Meg argued
with her as to the folly of being frightened. But it was all of no
avail; before night, Anty was really ill.
The next morning, the widow was obliged to own to herself that such was
the case. In the afternoon, Doctor Colligan was called in; and it was
many, many weeks before Anty recovered from the effects of the
XX. VERY LIBERAL
When the widow left the parlour, after having placed her guest in
the charge of her daughters, she summoned her son to follow her down
stairs, and was very careful not to leave behind her the notice which
Daly had placed on the table. As soon as she found herself behind
the shutter of her little desk, which stood in the shop-window, she
commenced very eagerly spelling it over. The purport of the notice was,
to inform her that Barry Lynch intended immediately to apply to the
magistrates to commit her and her son, for conspiring together to
inveigle Anty into a marriage; and that the fact of their having done
so would be proved by Mr Moylan, who was prepared to swear that he
had been present when the plan had been arranged between them. The
reader is aware that whatever show of truth there might be for this
accusation, as far as Martin and Moylan himself were concerned, the
widow at any rate was innocent; and he can conceive the good lady's
indignation at the idea of her own connection, Moylan, having been
seduced over to the enemy. Though she had put on a bold front against
Daly, and though she did not quite believe that Barry was in earnest in
taking proceedings against her, still her heart failed her as she read
the legal technicalities of the papers she held in her hand, and turned
to her son for counsel in considerable tribulation.
"But there must be something in it, I tell you," said she. "Though
Barry Lynch, and that limb o' the divil, young Daly, 'd stick at nothin
in the way of lies and desait, they'd niver go to say all this about
Moylan, unless he'd agree to do their bidding."
"That's like enough, mother: I dare say Moylan has been talked
over--bought over rather; for he's not one of them as'd do mischief for
"And does the ould robber mane to say that I--. As I live, I niver as
much as mentioned Anty's name to Moylan, except jist about the agency!"
"I'm shure you didn't, mother."
"And what is it then he has to say agin us?"
"Jist lies; that's av' he were called on to say anything; but he niver
will be. This is all one of Barry's schames to frighten you, and get
Anty turned out of the inn."
"Thin Master Barry doesn't know the widdy Kelly, I can tell him that;
for when I puts my hand to a thing, I mane to pull through wid it. But
tell me--all this'll be costing money, won't, it? Attorneys don't bring
thim sort of things about for nothing," and she gave a most
contemptuous twist to the notice.
"Oh, Barry must pay for that."
"I doubt that, Martin: he's not fond of paying, the mane, dirthy
blackguard. I tell you what, you shouldn't iver have let Daly inside
the house: he'll make us pay for the writing o' thim as shure as my
name's Mary Kelly: av' he hadn't got into the house, he couldn't've
done a halfporth."
"I tell you, mother, it wouldn't have done not to let him see Anty.
They'd have said we'd got her shut up here, and wouldn't let any one
come nigh her."
"Well, Martin, you'll see we'll have to pay for it. This comes of
meddling with other folks! I wonder how I was iver fool enough to have
fitched her down here!--Good couldn't come of daling with such people
as Barry Lynch."
"But you wouldn't have left her up there to be murdhered?"
"She's nothin' to me, and I don't know as she's iver like to be."
"But, tell me, Martin--was there anything said between you and Moylan
about Anty before she come down here?"
"How, anything said, mother?"
"Why, was there any schaming betwixt you?"
"Schaming?--when I want to schame, I'll not go shares with sich a
fellow as Moylan."
"Ah, but was there anything passed about Anty and you getting married?
Come now, Martin; I'm in all this throuble along of you, and you
shouldn't lave me in the dark. Was you talking to Moylan about Anty and
"Why, thin, I'll jist tell you the whole thruth, as I tould it all
before to Mister Frank--that is, Lord Ballindine, up in Dublin; and as
I wouldn't mind telling it this minute to Barry, or Daly, or any one
else in the three counties. When Moylan got the agency, he come out to
me at Toneroe; and afther talking a bit about Anty and her fortune, he
let on as how it would be a bright spec for me to marry her, and I
won't deny that it was he as first put it into my head. Well, thin, he
had schames of his own about keeping the agency, and getting a nice
thing out of the property himself, for putting Anty in my way; but I
tould him downright I didn't know anything about that; and that 'av
iver I did anything in the matter it would be all fair and above board;
and that was all the conspiracy I and Moylan had."
"And enough too, Martin," said the widow. "You'll find it's quite
enough to get us into throuble. And why wouldn't you tell me what was
going on between you?"
"There was nothing going on between us."
"I say there was;--and to go and invaigle me into your schames without
knowing a word about it!--It was a murdhering shame of you--and av' I
do have to pay for it, I'll never forgive you."
"That's right, mother; quarrel with me about it, do. It was I made you
bring Anty down here, wasn't it? when I was up in Dublin all the time."
"But to go and put yourself in the power of sich a fellow as Moylan! I
didn't think you were so soft."
"Ah, bother, mother! Who's put themselves in the power of Moylan?"
"I'll moyle him, and spoil him too, the false blackguard, to turn
agin the family--them as has made him! I wondher what he's to get
for swearing agin us?"--And then, after a pause, she added in a most
pathetic voice "oh, Martin, to think of being dragged away to Galway,
before the whole counthry, to be made a conspirather of! I, that always
paid my way, before and behind, though only a poor widdy! Who's to mind
the shop, I wondher?--I'm shure Meg's not able; and there'll be Mary'll
be jist nigh her time, and won't be able to come! Martin, you've been
and ruined me with your plots and your marriages! What did you want
with a wife, I wondher, and you so well off!"--and Mrs Kelly began
wiping her eyes, for she was affected to tears at the prospect of her
"Av' you take it so to heart, mother, you'd betther give Anty a hint to
be out of this. You heard Daly tell her, that was all Barry wanted."
Martin knew his mother tolerably well, or he would not have made this
proposition. He understood what the real extent of her sorrow was, and
how much of her lamentation he was to attribute to her laudable wish to
appear a martyr to the wishes and pleasures of her children.
"Turn her out!" replied she, "no, niver; and I didn't think I'd 've
heard you asking me to."
"I didn't ask you, mother,--only anything'd be betther than downright
"I wouldn't demane myself to Barry so much as to wish her out of this
now she's here. But it was along of you she came here, and av' I've to
pay for all this lawyer work, you oughtn't to see me at a loss. I'm
shure I don't know where your sisthers is to look for a pound or two
when I'm gone, av' things goes on this way," and again the widow
"Don't let that throuble you, mother: av' there's anything to pay, I
won't let it come upon you, any way. But I tell you there'll be nothing
more about it."
Mrs Kelly was somewhat quieted by her son's guarantee, and, muttering
that she couldn't afford to be wasting her mornings in that way,
diligently commenced weighing out innumerable three-halfporths of brown
sugar, and Martin went about his own business.
Daly left the inn, after his interview with Anty and the Kellys, in
anything but a pleasant frame of mind. In the first place, he knew that
he had been signally unsuccessful, and that his want of success had
been mainly attributable to his having failed to see Anty alone; and,
in the next place, he felt more than ever disgusted with his client.
He began to reflect, for the first time, that he might, and probably
would, irretrievably injure his character by undertaking, as Martin
truly called it, such a very low line of business: that, if the matter
were persevered in, every one in Connaught would be sure to hear of
Anty's persecution; and that his own name would be so mixed up with
Lynch's in the transaction as to leave him no means of escaping the
ignominy which was so justly due to his employer. Beyond these selfish
motives of wishing to withdraw from the business, he really pitied
Anty, and felt a great repugnance at being the means of adding to her
troubles; and he was aware of the scandalous shame of subjecting her
again to the ill-treatment of such a wretch as her brother, by
threatening proceedings which he knew could never be taken.
As he got on the car to return to Tuam, he determined that whatever
plan he might settle on adopting, he would have nothing further to do
with prosecuting or persecuting either Anty or the Kellys. "I'll give
him the best advice I can about it," said Daly to himself; "and if
he don't like it he may do the other thing. I wouldn't carry on with
this game for all he's worth, and that I believe is not much." He had
intended to go direct to Dunmore House from the Kellys, and to have
seen Barry, but he would have had to stop for dinner if he had done
so; and though, generally speaking, not very squeamish in his society,
he did not wish to enjoy another after-dinner _tete-a-tete_ with
him--"It's better to get him over to Tuam," thought he, "and try and
make him see rason when he's sober: nothing's too hot or too bad for
him, when he's mad dhrunk afther dinner."
Accordingly, Lynch was again summoned to Tuam, and held a second
council in the attorney's little parlour. Daly commenced by telling him
that his sister had seen him, and had positively refused to leave the
inn, and that the widow and her son had both listened to the threats
of a prosecution unmoved and undismayed. Barry indulged in his
usual volubility of expletives; expressed his fixed intention of
exterminating the Kellys; declared, with many asseverations, his
conviction that his sister was a lunatic; swore, by everything under,
in, and above the earth, that he would have her shut up in the Lunatic
Asylum in Ballinasloe, in the teeth of the Lord Chancellor and all the
other lawyers in Ireland; cursed the shades of his father, deeply and
copiously; assured Daly that he was only prevented from recovering his
own property by the weakness and ignorance of his legal advisers, and
ended by asking the attorney's advice as to his future conduct.
"What the d----l, then, am I to do with the confounded ideot?" said he.
"If you'll take my advice, you'll do nothing."
"What, and let her marry and have that young blackguard brought up to
Dunmore under my very nose?"
"I'm very much afraid, Mr Lynch, if you wish to be quit of Martin
Kelly, it is you must lave Dunmore. You may be shure he won't."
"Oh, as for that, I've nothing to tie me to Dunmore. I hate the place;
I never meant to live there. If I only saw my sister properly taken
care of, and that it was put out of her power to throw herself away, I
should leave it at once."
"Between you and me, Mr Lynch, she will be taken care of; and as for
throwing herself away, she must judge of that herself. Take my word for
it, the best thing for you to do is to come to terms with Martin Kelly,
and to sell out your property in Dunmore. You'll make much better terms
before marriage than you would afther, it stands to rason."
Barry was half standing, and half sitting on the small parlour table,
and there he remained for a few minutes, meditating on Daly's most
unpleasant proposal. It was a hard pill for him to swallow, and he
couldn't get it down without some convulsive grimaces. He bit his under
lip, till the blood came through it, and at last said,
"Why, you've taken this thing up, Daly, as if you were to be paid by
the Kellys instead of by me! I can't understand it, confound me if I
Daly turned very red at the insinuation. He was within an ace of
seizing Lynch by the collar, and expelling him in a summary way from
his premises, a feat which he was able to perform; and willing also,
for he was sick of his client; but he thought of it a second time, and
"Mr Lynch," he said, after a moment or two, "that's the second time
you've made an observation of that kind to me; and I'll tell you what;
if your business was the best in the county, instead of being as bad a
case as was ever put into a lawyer's hands, I wouldn't stand it from
you. If you think you can let out your passion against me, as you do
against your own people, you'll find your mistake out very soon; so
you'd betther mind what you're saying."
"Why, what the devil did I say?" said Lynch, half abashed.
"I'll not repeat it--and you hadn't betther, either. And now, do you
choose to hear my professional advice, and behave to me as you ought
and shall do? or will you go out of this and look out for another
attorney? To tell you the truth, I'd jist as lieve you'd take your
business to some one else."
Barry's brow grew very black, and he looked at Daly as though he would
much like to insult him again if he dared. But he did not dare. He had
no one else to look to for advice or support; he had utterly estranged
from him his father's lawyer; and though he suspected that Daly was not
true to him, he felt that he could not break with him. He was obliged,
therefore, to swallow his wrath, though it choked him, and to mutter
something in the shape of an apology.
It was a mutter: Daly heard something about its being only a joke,
and not expecting to be taken up so d---- sharp; and, accepting these
sounds as an _amende honorable_ , again renewed his functions as
[FOOTNOTE 32: amende honorable--(French) apology]
"Will you authorise me to see Martin Kelly, and to treat with him?
You'll find it the cheapest thing you can do; and, more than that,
it'll be what nobody can blame you for."
"How treat with him?--I owe him nothing--I don't see what I've got to
treat with him about. Am I to offer him half the property on condition
he'll consent to marry my sister? Is that what you mean?"
"No: that's not what I mean; but it'll come to much the same thing in
the end. In the first place, you must withdraw all opposition to Miss
Lynch's marriage; indeed, you must give it your direct sanction; and,
in the next place, you must make an amicable arrangement with Martin
about the division of the property."
"What--coolly give him all he has the impudence to ask?--throw up the
game altogether, and pitch the whole stakes into his lap?--Why, Daly,
"Well, Mr Lynch, finish your speech," said Daly, looking him full in
Barry had been on the point of again accusing the attorney of playing
false to him, but he paused in time; he caught Daly's eye, and did not
dare to finish the sentence which he had begun.
"I can't understand you, I mean," said he; "I can't understand what
you're after: but go on; may-be you're right, but I can't see, for the
life of me. What am I to get by such a plan as that?"
Barry was now cowed and frightened; he had no dram-bottle by him to
reassure him, and he became, comparatively speaking, calm and subdued.
Indeed, before the interview was over he fell into a pitiably
lachrymose tone, and claimed sympathy for the many hardships he had to
undergo through the ill-treatment of his family.
"I'll try and explain to you, Mr Lynch, what you'll get by it. As
far as I can understand, your father left about eight hundred a-year
between the two--that's you and your sisther; and then there's the
house and furniture. Nothing on earth can keep her out of her property,
or prevent her from marrying whom she plases. Martin Kelly, who is
an honest fellow, though sharp enough, has set his eye on her, and
before many weeks you'll find he'll make her his wife. Undher these
circumstances, wouldn't he be the best tenant you could find for
Dunmore? You're not fond of the place, and will be still less so when
he's your brother-in-law. Lave it altogether, Mr Lynch; give him a
laise of the whole concern, and if you'll do that now at once, take
my word for it you'll get more out of Dunmore than iver you will by
staying here, and fighting the matther out."
"But about the debts, Daly?"
"Why, I suppose the fact is, the debts are all your own, eh?"
"Well--suppose they are?"
"Exactly so: personal debts of your own. Why, when you've made some
final arrangement about the property, you must make some other
arrangement with your creditors. But that's quite a separate affair;
you don't expect Martin Kelly to pay your debts, I suppose?"
"But I might get a sum of money for the good-will, mightn't I?"
"I don't think Martin's able to put a large sum down. I'll tell you
what I think you might ask; and what I think he would give, to get
your good-will and consent to the match, and to prevent any further
difficulty. I think he'd become your tenant, for the whole of your
share, at a rent of five-hundred a year; and maybe he'd give you three
hundred pounds for the furniture and stock, and things about the place.
If so, you should give him a laise of three lives."
There was a good deal in this proposition that was pleasing to Barry's
mind: five hundred a-year without any trouble in collecting it; the
power of living abroad in the unrestrained indulgence of hotels and
billiard rooms; the probable chance of being able to retain his income
and bilk his creditors; the prospect of shaking off from himself the
consequences of a connection with the Kellys, and being for ever rid of
Dunmore encumbrances. These things all opened before his eyes a vista
of future, idle, uncontrolled enjoyment, just suited to his taste, and
strongly tempted him at once to close with Daly's offer. But still,
he could hardly bring himself to consent to be vanquished by his own
sister; it was wormwood to him to think that after all she should be
left to the undisturbed enjoyment of her father's legacy. He had been
brow-beaten by the widow, insulted by young Kelly, cowed and silenced
by the attorney whom he had intended to patronise and convert into a
creature of his own: he could however have borne and put up with all
this, if he could only have got his will of his sister; but to give up
to her, who had been his slave all his life--to own, at last, that he
had no power over her, whom he had always looked upon as so abject, so
mean a thing; to give in, of his own accord, to the robbery which had
been committed on him by his own father; and to do this, while he felt
convinced as he still did, that a sufficiently unscrupulous attorney
could save him from such cruel disgrace and loss, was a trial to which
he could hardly bring himself to submit, crushed and tamed as he was.
He still sat on the edge of the parlour table, and there he remained
mute, balancing the pros and cons of Daly's plan. Daly waited a minute
or two for his answer, and, finding that he said nothing, left him
alone for a time, to make up his mind, telling him that he would return
in about a quarter of an hour. Barry never moved from his position; it
was an important question he had to settle, and so he felt it, for he
gave up to the subject his undivided attention. Since his boyhood he
had looked forward to a life of ease, pleasure, and licence, and had
longed for his father's death that he might enjoy it. It seemed now
within his reach; for his means, though reduced, would still be
sufficient for sensual gratification. But, idle, unprincipled, brutal,
castaway wretch as Barry was, he still felt the degradation of
inaction, when he had such stimulating motives to energy as unsatisfied
rapacity and hatred for his sister: ignorant as he was of the meaning
of the word right, he tried to persuade himself that it would be wrong
in him to yield.
Could he only pluck up sufficient courage to speak his mind to Daly,
and frighten him into compliance with his wishes, he still felt that he
might be successful--that he might, by some legal tactics, at any rate
obtain for himself the management of his sister's property. But this
he could not do: he felt that Daly was his master; and though he still
thought that he might have triumphed had he come sufficiently prepared,
that is, with a considerable quantum of spirits inside him, he knew
himself well enough to be aware that he could do nothing without this
assistance; and, alas, he could not obtain it there. He had great
reliance in the efficacy of whiskey; he would trust much to a large
dose of port wine; but with brandy he considered himself invincible.
He sat biting his lip, trying to think, trying to make up his mind,
trying to gain sufficient self-composure to finish his interview with
Daly with some appearance of resolution and self-confidence, but it was
in vain; when the attorney returned, his face still plainly showed that
he was utterly unresolved, utterly unable to resolve on anything.
"Well, Mr Lynch," said Daly, "will you let me spake to Kelly about
this, or would you rather sleep on the matther?"
Barry gave a long sigh--"Wouldn't he give six hundred, Daly? he'd still
have two hundred clear, and think what that'd be for a fellow like
"You must ask him for it yourself then; I'll not propose to him any
such thing. Upon my soul, he'll be a great fool to give the five
hundred, because he's no occasion to meddle with you in the matther at
all, at all. But still I think he may give it; but as for asking for
more--at any rate I won't do it; you can do what you like, yourself."
"And am I to sell the furniture, and everything--horses, cattle, and
everything about the place--for three hundred pounds?"
"Not unless you like it, you ain't, Mr Lynch; but I'll tell you
this--if you can do so, and do do so, it'll be the best bargain you
ever made:--mind, one-half of it all belongs to your sisther."
Barry muttered an oath through his ground teeth; he would have liked to
scratch the ashes of his father from their resting-place, and wreak his
vengeance on them, whenever this degrading fact was named to him.
"But I want the money, Daly," said he: "I couldn't get afloat unless I
had more than that: I couldn't pay your bill, you know, unless I got a
higher figure down than that. Come, Daly, you must do something for me;
you must do something, you know, to earn the fees," and he tried to
look facetious, by giving a wretched ghastly grin.
"My bill won't be a long one, Mr Lynch, and you may be shure I'm trying
to make it as short as I can. And as for earning it, whatever you may
think, I can assure you I shall never have got money harder. I've now
given you my best advice; if your mind's not yet made up, perhaps
you'll have the goodness to let me hear from you when it is?" and Daly
walked from the fire towards the door, and placed his hand upon the
handle of it.
This was a hint which Barry couldn't misunderstand. "Well, I'll write
to you," he said, and passed through the door. He felt, however, that
it was useless to attempt to trust himself to his own judgment, and he
turned back, as Daly passed into his office--"Daly," he said, "step out
one minute: I won't keep you a second." The attorney unwillingly lifted
up the counter, and came out to him. "Manage it your own way," said
he; "do whatever you think best; but you must see that I've been badly
used--infernally cruelly treated, and you ought to do the best you can
for me. Here am I, giving away, as I may say, my own property to a
young shopkeeper, and upon my soul you ought to make him pay something
for it; upon my soul you ought, for it's only fair!"
"I've tould you, Mr Lynch, what I'll propose to Martin Kelly; if you
don't think the terms fair, you can propose any others yourself; or
you're at liberty to employ any other agent you please."
Barry sighed again, but he yielded. He felt broken-hearted, and
unhappy, and he longed to quit a country so distasteful to him, and
relatives and neighbours so ungrateful; he longed in his heart for the
sweet, easy haunts of Boulogne, which he had never known, but of which
he had heard many a glowing description from congenial spirits whom he
knew. He had heard enough of the ways and means of many a leading
star in that Elysium, to be aware that, with five hundred a-year,
unembarrassed and punctually paid, he might shine as a prince indeed.
He would go at once to that happy foreign shore, where the memory of no
father would follow him, where the presence of no sister would degrade
and irritate him, where billiard-tables were rife, and brandy cheap;
where virtue was easy, and restraint unnecessary; where no duties would
harass him, no tenants upbraid him, no duns persecute him. There,
carefully guarding himself against the schemes of those less fortunate
followers of pleasure among whom he would be thrown in his social
hours, he would convert every shilling of his income to some purpose of
self-enjoyment, and live a life of luxurious abandonment. And he need
not be altogether idle, he reflected within himself afterwards, as he
was riding home: he felt that he was possessed of sufficient energy and
talent to make himself perfectly master of a pack of cards, to be a
proficient over a billiard-table, and even to get the upper hand of a
box of dice. With such pursuits left to him, he might yet live to be
talked of, feared, and wealthy; and Barry's utmost ambition would have
carried him no further.
As I said before, he yielded to the attorney, and commissioned him
fully to treat with Martin Kelly in the manner proposed by himself.
Martin was to give him five hundred a-year for his share of the
property, and three hundred pounds for the furniture, &c.; and Barry
was to give his sister his written and unconditional assent to her
marriage; was to sign any document which might be necessary as to her
settlement, and was then to leave Dunmore for ever. Daly made him write
an authority for making such a proposal, by which he bound himself to
the terms, should they be acceded to by the other party.
"But you must bear in mind," added Daly, as his client for the second
time turned from the door, "that I don't guarantee that Martin Kelly
will accept these terms: it's very likely he may be sharp enough to
know that he can manage as well without you as he can with you. You'll
remember that, Mr Lynch."
"I will--I will, Daly; but look here--if he bites freely--and I think
he will, and if you find you could get as much as a thousand out of
him, or even eight hundred, you shall have one hundred clear for
This was Barry's last piece of diplomacy for that day. Daly vouchsafed
him no answer, but returned into his office, and Barry mounted his
horse, and returned home not altogether ill-pleased with his prospects,
but still regretting that he should have gone about so serious a piece
of business, so utterly unprepared.
These regrets rose stronger, when his after-dinner courage returned to
him as he sate solitary over his fire. "I should have had him here,"
said he to himself, "and not gone to that confounded cold hole of
his. After all, there's no place for a cock to fight on like his own
dunghill; and there's nothing able to carry a fellow well through a
tough bit of jobation  with a lawyer like a stiff tumbler of brandy
punch. It'd have been worth a couple of hundred to me, to have had him
out here--impertinent puppy! Well, devil a halfpenny I'll pay him!"
This thought was consolatory, and he began again to think of Boulogne.
[FOOTNOTE 33: jobation--a tedious session; scolding]
XXI. LORD BALLINDINE AT HOME
Two days after the last recorded interview between Lord Ballindine and
his friend, Dot Blake, the former found himself once more sitting down
to dinner with his mother and sisters, the Honourable Mrs O'Kelly and
the Honourable Misses O'Kelly; at least such were the titular dignities
conferred on them in County Mayo, though I believe, strictly speaking,
the young ladies had no claim to the appellation.
Mrs O'Kelly was a very small woman, with no particularly developed
character, and perhaps of no very general utility. She was fond of her
daughters, and more than fond of her son, partly because he was so
tall and so handsome, and partly because he was the lord, the head
of the family, and the owner of the house. She was, on the whole, a
good-natured person, though perhaps her temper was a little soured by
her husband having, very unfairly, died before he had given her a right
to call herself Lady Ballindine. She was naturally shy and reserved,
and the seclusion of O'Kelly's Court did not tend to make her less so;
but she felt that the position and rank of her son required her to be
dignified; and consequently, when in society, she somewhat ridiculously
aggravated her natural timidity with an assumed rigidity of demeanour.
She was, however, a good woman, striving, with small means, to do the
best for her family; prudent and self-denying, and very diligent in
looking after the house servants.
Her two daughters had been, at the instance of their grandfather, the
courtier, christened Augusta and Sophia, after the two Princesses of
that name, and were now called Guss and Sophy: they were both pretty,
good-natured girls--one with dark brown and the other light brown hair:
they both played the harp badly, sung tolerably, danced well, and were
very fond of nice young men. They both thought Kelly's Court rather
dull; but then they had known nothing better since they had grown up,
and there were some tolerably nice people not very far off, whom they
occasionally saw: there were the Dillons, of Ballyhaunis, who had
three thousand a-year, and spent six; they were really a delightful
family--three daughters and four sons, all unmarried, and up to
anything: the sons all hunted, shot, danced, and did everything that
they ought to do--at least in the eyes of young ladies; though some of
their more coldly prudent acquaintances expressed an opinion that it
would be as well if the three younger would think of doing something
for themselves; but they looked so manly and handsome when they
breakfasted at Kelly's Court on a hunt morning, with their bright tops,
red coats, and hunting-caps, that Guss and Sophy, and a great many
others, thought it would be a shame to interrupt them in their career.
And then, Ballyhaunis was only eight miles from Kelly's Court; though
they were Irish miles, it is true, and the road was not patronised by
the Grand Jury; but the distance was only eight miles, and there were
always beds for them when they went to dinner at Peter Dillon's. Then
there were the Blakes of Castletown. To be sure they could give no
parties, for they were both unmarried; but they were none the worse
for that, and they had plenty of horses, and went out everywhere.
And the Blakes of Morristown; they also were very nice people; only
unfortunately, old Blake was always on his keeping, and couldn't show
himself out of doors except on Sundays, for fear of the bailiffs. And
the Browns of Mount Dillon, and the Browns of Castle Brown; and General
Bourke of Creamstown. All these families lived within fifteen or
sixteen miles of Kelly's Court, and prevented the O'Kellys from
feeling themselves quite isolated from the social world. Their nearest
neighbours, however, were the Armstrongs, and of them they saw a great
The Reverend Joseph Armstrong was rector of Ballindine, and Mrs O'Kelly
was his parishioner, and the only Protestant one he had; and, as Mr
Armstrong did not like to see his church quite deserted, and as Mrs
O'Kelly was, as she flattered herself, a very fervent Protestant, they
were all in all to each other.
Ballindine was not a good living, and Mr Armstrong had a very large
family; he was, therefore, a poor man. His children were helpless,
uneducated, and improvident; his wife was nearly worn out with the
labours of bringing them forth and afterwards catering for them; and
a great portion of his own life was taken up in a hard battle with
tradesmen and tithe-payers, creditors, and debtors. Yet, in spite of
the insufficiency of his two hundred a-year to meet all or half his
wants, Mr Armstrong was not an unhappy man. At any moment of social
enjoyment he forgot all his cares and poverty, and was always the
first to laugh, and the last to cease to do so. He never refused an
invitation to dinner, and if he did not entertain many in his own
house, it was his fortune, and not his heart, that prevented him from
doing so. He could hardly be called a good clergyman, and yet his
remissness was not so much his own fault as that of circumstances. How
could a Protestant rector be a good parish clergyman, with but one old
lady and her daughters, for the exercise of his clerical energies and
talents? He constantly lauded the zeal of St. Paul for proselytism;
but, as he himself once observed, even St. Paul had never had to deal
with the obstinacy of an Irish Roman Catholic. He often regretted the
want of work, and grieved that his profession, as far as he saw and had
been instructed, required nothing of him but a short service on every
Sunday morning, and the celebration of the Eucharist four times a-year;
but such were the facts; and the idleness which this want of work
engendered, and the habits which his poverty induced, had given him
a character as a clergyman, very different from that which the high
feelings and strict principles which animated him at his ordination
would have seemed to ensure. He was, in fact, a loose, slovenly man,
somewhat too fond of his tumbler of punch; a little lax, perhaps, as to
clerical discipline, but very staunch as to doctrine. He possessed no
industry or energy of any kind; but he was good-natured and charitable,
lived on friendly terms with all his neighbours, and was intimate with
every one that dwelt within ten miles of him, priest and parson, lord
Such was the neighbourhood of Kelly's Court, and among such Lord
Ballindine had now made up his mind to remain a while, till
circumstances should decide what further steps he should take with
regard to Fanny Wyndham. There were a few hunting days left in the
season, which he intended to enjoy; and then he must manage to make
shift to lull the time with shooting, fishing, farming, and nursing his
horses and dogs.
His mother and sisters had heard nothing of the rumour of the quarrel
between Frank and Fanny, which Mat Tierney had so openly alluded to at
Handicap Lodge; and he was rather put out by their eager questions on
the subject. Nothing was said about it till the servant withdrew, after
dinner, but the three ladies were too anxious for information to delay
their curiosity any longer.
"Well, Frank," said the elder sister, who was sitting over the
fire, close to his left elbow--(he had a bottle of claret at his
right)--"well, Frank, do tell us something about Fanny Wyndham; we are
so longing to hear; and you never will write, you know."
"Everybody says it's a brilliant match," said the mother. "They say
here she's forty thousand pounds: I'm sure I hope she has, Frank."
"But when is it to be?" said Sophy. "She's of age now, isn't she? and
I thought you were only waiting for that. I'm sure we shall like her;
come, Frank, do tell us--when are we to see Lady Ballindine?"
Frank looked rather serious and embarrassed, but did not immediately
make any reply.
"You haven't quarrelled, have you, Frank?" said the mother.
"The match isn't off--is it?" said Guss.
"Miss Wyndham has just lost her only brother," said he; "he died quite
suddenly in London about ten days since; she was very much attached to
"Good gracious, how shocking!" said Sophy.
"I'm sorry," said Guss.
"Why, Frank," said their mother, now excited into absolute animation;
"his fortune was more than double hers, wasn't it?--who'll have it
"It was, mother; five times as much as hers, I believe."
"Gracious powers! and who has it now? Why don't you tell me, Frank?"
"His sister Fanny."
"Heavens and earth!--I hope you're not going to let her quarrel with
you, are you? Has there been anything between you? Have there been any
words between you and Lord Cashel? Why don't you tell me, Frank, when
you know how anxious I am?"
"If you must know all about it, I have not had any words, as you call
them, with Fanny Wyndham; but I have with her guardian. He thinks a
hundred and twenty thousand pounds much too great a fortune for a
Connaught viscount. However, I don't think so. It will be for time to
show what Fanny thinks. Meanwhile, the less said about it the better;
remember that, girls, will you?"
"Oh, we will--we won't say a word about it; but she'll never change her
mind because of her money, will she?"
"That's what would make me love a man twice the more," said Guss; "or
at any rate show it twice the stronger."
"Frank," said the anxious mother, "for heaven's sake don't let anything
stand between you and Lord Cashel; think what a thing it is you'd lose!
Why; it'd pay all the debts, and leave the property worth twice what it
ever was before. If Lord Cashel thinks you ought to give up the hounds,
do it at once, Frank; anything rather than quarrel with him. You could
get them again, you know, when all's settled."
"I've given up quite as much as I intend for Lord Cashel."
"Now, Frank, don't be a fool, or you'll repent it all your life: what
does it signify how much you give up to such a man as Lord Cashel? You
don't think, do you, that he objects to our being at Kelly's Court?
Because I'm sure we wouldn't stay a moment if we thought that."
"Mother, I wouldn't part with a cur dog out of the place to please Lord
Cashel. But if I were to do everything on earth at his beck and will,
it would make no difference: he will never let me marry Fanny Wyndham
if he can help it; but, thank God, I don't believe he can."
"I hope not--I hope not. You'll never see half such a fortune again."
"Well, mother, say nothing about it one way or the other, to anybody.
And as you now know how the matter stands, it's no good any of us
talking more about it till I've settled what I mean to do myself."