Part 6 out of 10
"I shall hate her," said Sophy, "if her getting all her brother's money
changes her; but I'm sure it won't." And so the conversation ended.
Lord Ballindine had not rested in his paternal halls the second night,
before he had commenced making arrangements for a hunt breakfast, by
way of letting all his friends know that he was again among them.
And so missives, in Guss and Sophy's handwriting, were sent round
by a bare-legged little boy, to all the Mounts, Towns, and Castles,
belonging to the Dillons, Blakes, Bourkes, and Browns of the
neighbourhood, to tell them that the dogs would draw the Kelly's Court
covers at eleven o'clock on the following Tuesday morning, and that the
preparatory breakfast would be on the table at ten. This was welcome
news to the whole neighbourhood. It was only on the Sunday evening
that the sportsmen got the intimation, and very busy most of them
were on the following Monday to see that their nags and breeches
were all right--fit to work and fit to be seen. The four Dillons, of
Ballyhaunis, gave out to their grooms a large assortment of pipe-clay
and putty-powder. Bingham Blake, of Castletown, ordered a new set of
girths to his hunting saddle; and his brother Jerry, who was in no
slight degree proud of his legs, but whose nether trappings were rather
the worse from the constant work of a heavy season, went so far as to
go forth very early on the Monday morning to excite the Ballinrobe
tailor to undertake the almost impossible task of completing him a pair
of doeskin by the Tuesday morning. The work was done, and the breeches
home at Castletown by eight--though the doeskin had to be purchased in
Tuam, and an assistant artist taken away from his mother's wake, to sit
up all night over the seams. But then the tailor owed a small trifle
of arrear of rent for his potato-garden, and his landlord was Jerry
Blake's cousin-german . There's nothing carries one further than a
good connexion, thought both Jerry and the tailor when the job was
[FOOTNOTE 34: cousin-german--first cousin]
Among the other invitations sent was one to Martin Kelly,--not exactly
worded like the others, for though Lord Ballindine was perhaps more
anxious to see him than anyone else, Martin had not yet got quite so
high in the ladder of life as to be asked to breakfast at Kelly's
Court. But the fact that Frank for a moment thought of asking him
showed that he was looking upwards in the world's estimation. Frank
wrote him a note himself, saying that the hounds would throw off at
Kelly's Court, at eleven; that, if he would ride over, he would be sure
to see a good hunt, and that he, Lord Ballindine, had a few words to
say to him on business, just while the dogs were being put into the
cover. Martin, as usual, had a good horse which he was disposed to
sell, if, as he said, he got its value; and wrote to say he would wait
on Lord Ballindine at eleven. The truth was, Frank wanted to borrow
money from him.
Another note was sent to the Glebe, requesting the Rector to come to
breakfast and to look at the hounds being thrown off. The modest style
of the invitation was considered as due to Mr Armstrong's clerical
position, but was hardly rendered necessary by his habits; for though
the parson attended such meetings in an old suit of rusty black, and
rode an equally rusty-looking pony, he was always to be seen, at the
end of the day, among those who were left around the dogs.
On the Tuesday morning there was a good deal of bustle at Kelly's
Court. All the boys about the place were collected in front of the
house, to walk the gentlemen's horses about while the riders were at
breakfast, and earn a sixpence or a fourpenny bit; and among them,
sitting idly on the big steppingstone placed near the door, was Jack
the fool, who, for the day, seemed to have deserted the service of
And now the red-coats flocked up to the door, and it was laughable
to see the knowledge of character displayed by the gossoons in the
selection of their customers. One or two, who were known to be "bad
pays," were allowed to dismount without molestation of any kind, and
could not even part with their steeds till they had come to an absolute
bargain as to the amount of gratuity to be given. Lambert Brown was one
of these unfortunate characters--a younger brother who had a little,
and but a very little money, and who was determined to keep that. He
was a miserable hanger-on at his brother's house, without profession
or prospects; greedy, stingy, and disagreeable; endowed with a squint,
and long lank light-coloured hair: he was a bad horseman, always
craning and shirking in the field, boasting and lying after dinner;
nevertheless, he was invited and endured because he was one of the
Browns of Mount Dillon, cousin to the Browns of Castle Brown, nephew to
Mrs Dillon the member's wife, and third cousin of Lord Ballaghaderrin.
He dismounted in the gravel circle before the door, and looked round
for someone to take his horse; but none of the urchins would come to
him. At last he caught hold of a little ragged boy whom he knew, from
his own side of the country, and who had come all the way there, eight
long Irish miles, on the chance of earning sixpence and seeing a hunt.
"Here, Patsy, come here, you born little divil," and he laid hold of
the arm of the brat, who was trying to escape from him--"come and hold
my horse for me--and I'll not forget you."
"Shure, yer honer, Mr Lambert, I can't thin, for I'm afther engaging
myself this blessed minute to Mr Larry Dillon, only he's jist trotted
round to the stables to spake a word to Mick Keogh."
"Don't be lying, you little blackguard; hould the horse, and don't stir
out of that."
"Shure how can I, Mr Lambert, when I've been and guv my word to Mr
Larry?" and the little fellow put his hands behind him, that he might
not be forced to take hold of the reins.
"Don't talk to me, you young imp, but take the horse. I'll not forget
you when I come out. What's the matter with you, you fool; d'ye think
I'd tell you a lie about it?"
Patsy evidently thought he would; for though he took the horse almost
upon compulsion, he whimpered as he did so, and said:
"Shure, Mr Lambert, would you go and rob a poor boy of his chances?--I
come'd all the way from Ballyglass this blessed morning to 'arn a
tizzy, and av' I doesn't get it from you this turn, I'll--" But Lambert
Brown had gone into the house, and on his return after breakfast he
fully justified the lad's suspicion, for he again promised him that he
wouldn't forget him, and that he'd see him some day at Mr Dillon's.
"Well, Lambert Brown," said the boy, as that worthy gentleman rode off,
"it's you're the raal blackguard--and it's well all the counthry knows
you: sorrow be your bed this night; it's little the poor'll grieve for
you, when you're stretched, or the rich either, for the matther of
Very different was the reception Bingham Blake got, as he drove up with
his tandem and tax-cart: half-a-dozen had kept themselves idle, each in
the hope of being the lucky individual to come in for Bingham's
"Och, Mr Bingham, shure I'm first," roared one fellow.
But the first, as he styled himself, was soon knocked down under the
wheels of the cart by the others.
"Mr Blake, thin--Mr Blake, darlint--doesn't ye remimber the promise you
"Mr Jerry, Mr Jerry, avick,"--this was addressed to the brother--"spake
a word for me; do, yer honour; shure it was I come all the way from
Teddy Mahony's with the breeches this morning, God bless 'em, and the
fine legs as is in 'em."
But they were all balked, for Blake had his servant there.
"Get out, you blackguards!" said he, raising his tandem whip, as if to
strike them. "Get out, you robbers! Are you going to take the cart and
horses clean away from me? That mare'll settle some of ye, if you make
so free with her! she's not a bit too chary of her hind feet. Get out
of that, I tell you;" and he lightly struck with the point of his whip
the boy who had Lambert Brown's horse.
"Ah, Mr Bingham," said, the boy, pretending to rub the part very hard,
"you owe me one for that, anyhow, and it's you are the good mark for
it, God bless you."
"Faix," said another, "one blow from your honour is worth two promises
from Lambert Brown, any way."
There was a great laugh at this among the ragged crew, for Lambert
Brown was still standing on the doorsteps: when he heard this sally,
however, he walked in, and the different red-coats and top-boots were
not long in crowding after him.
Lord Ballindine received them in the same costume, and very glad they
all seemed to see him again. When an Irish gentleman is popular in his
neighbourhood, nothing can exceed the real devotion paid to him; and
when that gentleman is a master of hounds, and does not require a
subscription, he is more than ever so.
"Welcome back, Ballindine--better late than never; but why did you stay
away so long?" said General Bourke, an old gentleman with long, thin,
flowing grey hairs, waving beneath his broad-brimmed felt hunting-hat.
"You're not getting so fond of the turf, I hope, as to be giving up the
field for it? Give me the sport where I can ride my own horse myself;
not where I must pay a young rascal for doing it for me, and robbing me
into the bargain, most likely."
"Quite right, General," said Frank; "so you see I've given up the
Curragh, and come down to the dogs again."
"Yes, but you've waited too long, man; the dogs have nearly done their
work for this year. I'm sorry for it; the last day of the season is the
worst day in the year to me. I'm ill for a week after it."
"Well, General, please the pigs, we'll be in great tune next October.
I've as fine a set of puppies to enter as there is in Ireland, let
alone Connaught. You must come down, and tell me what you think of
"Next October's all very well for you young fellows, but I'm
seventy-eight. I always make up my mind that I'll never turn out
another season, and it'll be true for me this year. I'm hunting over
sixty years, Ballindine, in these three counties. I ought to have had
enough of it by this time, you'll say."
"I'll bet you ten pounds," said Bingham Blake, "that you hunt after
"Done with you Bingham," said the General, and the bet was booked.
General Bourke was an old soldier, who told the truth in saying that he
had hunted over the same ground sixty years ago. But he had not been
at it ever since, for he had in the meantime seen a great deal of hard
active service, and obtained high military reputation. But he had again
taken kindly to the national sport of his country, on returning to
his own estate at the close of the Peninsular War; and had ever since
attended the meets twice a week through every winter, with fewer
exceptions than any other member of the hunt. He always wore
top-boots--of the ancient cut, with deep painted tops and square toes,
drawn tight up over the calf of his leg; a pair of most capacious
dark-coloured leather breeches, the origin of which was unknown to
any other present member of the hunt, and a red frock coat, very much
soiled by weather, water, and wear. The General was a rich man, and
therefore always had a horse to suit him. On the present occasion, he
was riding a strong brown beast, called Parsimony, that would climb
over anything, and creep down the gable end of a house if he were
required to do so. He was got by OEconomy; those who know county Mayo
know the breed well.
They were now all crowded into the large dining-room at Kelly's Court;
about five-and-twenty redcoats, and Mr Armstrong's rusty black. In
spite of his shabby appearance, however, and the fact that the greater
number of those around him were Roman Catholics, he seemed to be very
popular with the lot; and his opinion on the important subject of its
being a scenting morning was asked with as much confidence in his
judgment, as though the foxes of the country were peculiarly subject to
"Well, then, Peter," said he, "the wind's in the right quarter. Mick
says there's a strong dog-fox in the long bit of gorse behind the firs;
if he breaks from that he must run towards Ballintubber, and when
you're once over the meering  into Roscommon, there's not an acre of
tilled land, unless a herd's garden, between that and--the deuce knows
where all--further than most of you'll like to ride, I take it."
[FOOTNOTE 35: meering--a well-marked boundary, such as a ditch or
fence, between farms, fields, bogs, etc]
"How far'll you go yourself, Armstrong? Faith, I believe it's few of
the crack nags'll beat the old black pony at a long day."
"Is it I?" said the Parson, innocently. "As soon as I've heard the dogs
give tongue, and seen them well on their game, I'll go home. I've land
ploughing, and I must look after that. But, as I was saying, if the fox
breaks well away from the gorse, you'll have the best run you've seen
this season; but if he dodges back into the plantation, you'll have
enough to do to make him break at all; and when he does, he'll go away
towards Ballyhaunis, through as cross a country as ever a horse put a
And having uttered this scientific prediction, which was listened to
with the greatest deference by Peter Dillon, the Rev. Joseph Armstrong
turned his attention to the ham and tea.
The three ladies were all smiles to meet their guests; Mrs O'Kelly,
dressed in a piece of satin turk, came forward to shake hands with
the General, but Sophy and Guss kept their positions, beneath the
coffee-pot and tea-urn, at each end of the long table, being very
properly of opinion that it was the duty of the younger part of the
community to come forward, and make their overtures to them. Bingham
Blake, the cynosure on whom the eyes of the beauty of county Mayo were
most generally placed, soon found his seat beside Guss, rather to
Sophy's mortification; but Sophy was good-natured, and when Peter
Dillon placed himself at her right hand, she was quite happy, though
Peter's father was still alive, and Bingham's had been dead this many a
year and Castletown much in want of a mistress.
"Now, Miss O'Kelly," said Bingham, "do let me manage the coffee-pot;
the cream-jug and sugar-tongs will be quite enough for your energies."
"Indeed and I won't, Mr Blake; you're a great deal too awkward, and a
great deal too hungry. The last hunt-morning you breakfasted here you
threw the coffee-grouts into the sugar-basin, when I let you help me."
"To think of your remembering that!--but I'm improved since then. I've
been taking lessons with my old aunt at Castlebar."
"You don't mean you've really been staying with Lady Sarah?"
"Oh, but I have, though. I was there three days; made tea every night;
washed the poodle every morning, and clear-starched her Sunday
pelerine, with my own hands on Saturday evening."
"Oh, what a useful animal! What a husband you'll make, when you're a
little more improved!"
"Shan't I? As you're so fond of accomplishments, perhaps you'll take me
"Why, as you're so useful, maybe I may."
"Well, Lambert," said Lord Ballindine, across the table, to the stingy
gentleman with the squint, "are you going to ride hard to-day?"
"I'll go bail I'm not much behind, my lord," said Lambert; "if the dogs
go, I'll follow."
"I'll bet you a crown, Lambert," said his cousin, young Brown of Mount
Brown, "the dogs kill, and you don't see them do it."
"Oh, that may be, and yet I mayn't be much behind."
"I'll bet you're not in the next field to them."
"Maybe you'll not be within ten fields yourself."
"Come, Lambert, I'll tell you what--we'll ride together, and I'll bet
you a crown I pound you before you're over three leaps."
"Ah, now, take it easy with yourself," said Lambert; "there are others
ride better than you."
"But no one better than yourself; is that it, eh?"
"Well, Jerry, how do the new articles fit?" said Nicholas Dillon.
"Pretty well, thank you: they'd be a deal more comfortable though, if
you'd pay for them."
"Did you hear, Miss O'Kelly, what Jerry Blake did yesterday?" said
Nicholas Dillon aloud, across the table.
"Indeed, I did not," said Guss--"but I hope, for the sake of the Blakes
in general, he didn't do anything much amiss?"
"I'll tell you then," continued Nicholas. "A portion of his ould
hunting-dress--I'll not specify what, you know--but a portion, which
he'd been wearing since the last election, were too shabby to show:
well, he couldn't catch a hedge tailor far or near, only poor lame Andy
Oulahan, who was burying his wife, rest her sowl, the very moment Jerry
got a howld of him. Well, Jerry was wild that the tailors were so
scarce, so he laid his hands on Andy, dragged him away from the corpse
and all the illigant enthertainment of the funeral, and never let him
out of sight till he'd put on the last button."
"Oh, Mr Blake!" said Guss, "you did not take the man away from his dead
"Indeed I did not, Miss O'Kelly: Andy'd no such good chance; his wife's
to the fore this day, worse luck for him. It was only his mother he was
"But you didn't take him away from his mother's funeral?"
"Oh, I did it according to law, you know. I got Bingham to give me a
warrant first, before I let the policeman lay a hand on him."
"Now, General, you've really made no breakfast at all," said the
hospitable hostess: "do let Guss give you a hot cup of coffee."
"Not a drop more, Mrs O'Kelly. I've done more than well; but, if you'll
allow me, I'll just take a crust of bread in my pocket."
"And what would you do that for?--you'll be coming back to lunch, you
"Is it lunch, Mrs O'Kelly, pray don't think of troubling yourself to
have lunch on the table. Maybe we'll be a deal nearer Creamstown than
Kelly's Court at lunch time. But it's quite time we were off. As for
Bingham Blake, from the look of him, he's going to stay here with your
daughter Augusta all the morning."
"I believe then he'd much sooner be with the dogs, General, than losing
his time with her."
"Are you going to move at all, Ballindine," said the impatient old
sportsman. "Do you know what time it is?--it'll be twelve o'clock
before you have the dogs in the cover."
"Very good time, too, General: men must eat, you know, and the fox
won't stir till we move him. But come, gentlemen, you seem to be
dropping your knives and forks. Suppose we get into our saddles?"
And again the red-coats sallied out. Bingham gave Guss a tender
squeeze, which she all but returned, as she bade him take care and not
go and kill himself. Peter Dillon stayed to have a few last words with
Sophy, and to impress upon her his sister Nora's message, that she and
_her_ sister were to be sure to come over on Friday to Ballyhaunis, and
spend the night there.
"We will, if we're let, tell Nora," said Sophy; "but now Frank's at
home, we must mind him, you know."
"Make him bring you over: there'll be a bed for him; the old house is
big enough, heaven knows."
"Indeed it is. Well, I'll do my best; but tell Nora to be sure and get
the fiddler from Hollymount. It's so stupid for her to be sitting there
at the piano while we're dancing."
"I'll manage that; only do you bring Frank to dance with her," and
another tender squeeze was given--and Peter hurried out to the horses.
And now they were all gone but the Parson. "Mrs O'Kelly," said he, "Mrs
Armstrong wants a favour from you. Poor Minny's very bad with her
throat; she didn't get a wink of sleep last night."
"Dear me--poor thing; Can I send her anything?"
"If you could let them have a little black currant jelly, Mrs Armstrong
would be so thankful. She has so much to think of, and is so weak
herself, poor thing, she hasn't time to make those things."
"Indeed I will, Mr Armstrong. I'll send it down this morning; and a
little calf's foot jelly won't hurt her. It is in the house, and Mrs
Armstrong mightn't be able to get the feet, you know. Give them my
love, and if I can get out at all to-morrow, I'll go and see them."
And so the Parson, having completed his domestic embassy for the
benefit of his sick little girl, followed the others, keen for the
hunt; and the three ladies were left alone, to see the plate and china
XXII. THE HUNT
Though the majority of those who were in the habit of hunting with
the Kelly's Court hounds had been at the breakfast, there were still
a considerable number of horsemen waiting on the lawn in front of
the house, when Frank and his friends sallied forth. The dogs were
collected round the huntsman, behaving themselves, for the most part,
with admirable propriety; an occasional yelp from a young hound would
now and then prove that the whipper  had his eye on them, and would
not allow rambling; but the old dogs sat demurely on their haunches,
waiting the well-known signal for action. There they sat, as grave
as so many senators, with their large heads raised, their heavy lips
hanging from each side of their jaws, and their deep, strong chests
expanded so as to show fully their bone, muscle, and breeding.
[FOOTNOTE 36: whipper--an officer of the hunt whose duty was to
help the hunstman control the hounds]
Among the men who had arrived on the lawn during breakfast were two who
certainly had not come together, and who had not spoken since they had
been there. They were Martin Kelly and Barry Lynch. Martin was dressed
just as usual, except that he had on a pair of spurs, but Barry
was armed cap-a-pie . Some time before his father's death he
had supplied himself with all the fashionable requisites for the
field,--not because he was fond of hunting, for he was not,--but in
order to prove himself as much a gentleman as other people. He had been
out twice this year, but had felt very miserable, for no one spoke to
him, and he had gone home, on both occasions, early in the day; but
he had now made up his mind that he would show himself to his old
schoolfellow in his new character as an independent country gentleman;
and what was more, he was determined that Lord Ballindine should not
[FOOTNOTE 37: cap-a-pie--from head to foot]
He very soon had an opportunity for effecting his purpose, for the
moment that Frank got on his horse, he unintentionally rode close up to
"How d'ye do, my lord?--I hope I see your lordship well?" said Barry,
with a clumsy attempt at ease and familiarity. "I'm glad to find your
lordship in the field before the season's over."
"Good morning, Mr Lynch," said Frank, and was turning away from him,
when, remembering that he must have come from Dunmore, he asked, "did
you see Martin Kelly anywhere?"
"Can't say I did, my lord," said Barry, and he turned away completely
silenced, and out of countenance.
Martin had been talking to the huntsman, and criticizing the hounds.
He knew every dog's name, character, and capabilities, and also every
horse in Lord Ballindine's stable, and was consequently held in great
respect by Mick Keogh and his crew.
And now the business began. "Mick," said the lord, "we'll take them
down to the young plantation, and bring them back through the firs and
so into the gorse. If the lad's lying there, we must hit him that way."
"That's thrue for yer honer, my lord;" and he started off with his
"You're wrong, Ballindine," said the Parson; "for you'll drive him up
into the big plantation, and you'll be all day before you make him
break; and ten to one they'll chop him in the cover."
"Would you put them into the gorse at once then?"
"Take 'em gently through the firs; maybe he's lying out--and down into
the gorse, and then, if he's there, he must go away, and into a tip-top
country too--miles upon miles of pasture--right away to Ballintubber,"
"That's thrue, too, my lord: let his Rivirence alone for understandhing
a fox," said Mick, with a wink.
The Parson's behests were obeyed. The hounds followed Mick into the
plantation, and were followed by two or three of the more eager of the
party, who did not object to receiving wet boughs in their faces, or
who delighted in riding for half an hour with their heads bowed close
down over their saddle-bows. The rest remained with the whipper,
"Stay a moment here, Martin," said Lord Ballindine. "They can't get
away without our seeing them, and I want to speak a few words to you."
"And I want particularly to spake to your lordship," said Martin; "and
there's no fear of the fox! I never knew a fox lie in those firs yet."
"Nor I either, but you see the Parson would have his way. I suppose, if
the priest were out, and he told you to run the dogs through the
gooseberry-bushes, you'd do it?"
"I'm blessed if I would, my lord! Every man to his trade. Not but what
Mr Armstrong knows pretty well what he's about."
"Well but, Martin, I'll tell you what I want of you. I want a little
money, without bothering those fellows up in Dublin; and I believe you
could let me have it; at any rate, you and your mother together. Those
fellows at Guinness's are stiff about it, and I want three hundred
pounds, without absolutely telling them that they must give it me. I'd
give you my bill for the amount at twelve months, and, allow you six
per cent.; but then I want it immediately. Can you let me have it?"
"Why, my lord," said Martin, after pausing awhile and looking very
contemplative during the time, "I certainly have the money; that is, I
and mother together; but--"
"Oh, if you've any doubt about it--or if it puts you out, don't do it."
"Divil a doubt on 'arth, my lord; but I'll tell you I was just going to
ask your lordship's advice about laying out the same sum in another
way, and I don't think I could raise twice that much."
"Very well, Martin; if you've anything better to do with your money,
I'm sure I'd be sorry to take it from you."
"That's jist it, my lord. I don't think I can do betther--but I want
your advice about it."
"My advice whether you ought to lend me three hundred pounds or not!
Why, Martin, you're a fool. I wouldn't ask you to lend it me, if I
thought you oughtn't to lend it."
"Oh--I'm certain sure of that, my lord; but there's an offer made me,
that I'd like to have your lordship's mind about. It's not much to my
liking, though; and I think it'll be betther for me to be giving you
the money," and then Martin told his landlord the offer which had been
made to him by Daly, on the part of Barry Lynch. "You see, my lord,"
he concluded by saying, "it'd be a great thing to be shut of Barry
entirely out of the counthry, and to have poor Anty's mind at ase about
it, should she iver live to get betther; but thin, I don't like to have
dailings with the divil, or any one so much of his colour as Barry
"This is a very grave matter, Martin, and takes some little time to
think about. To tell the truth, I forgot your matrimonial speculation
when I asked for the money. Though I want the cash, I think you should
keep it in your power to close with Barry: no, you'd better keep the
money by you."
"After all, the ould woman could let me have it on the security of the
house, you know, av' I did take up with the offer. So, any way, your
lordship needn't be balked about the cash."
"But is Miss Lynch so very ill, Martin?"
"'Deed, and she is, Mr Frank; very bad intirely. Doctor Colligan was
with her three times yestherday."
"And does Barry take any notice of her now she's ill?"
"Why, not yet he didn't; but then, we kept it from him as much as we
could, till it got dangerous like. Mother manes to send Colligan to him
to-day, av' he thinks she's not betther."
"If she were to die, Martin, there'd be an end of it all, wouldn't
"Oh, in course there would, my lord"--and then he added, with a sigh,
"I'd be sorry she'd die, for, somehow, I'm very fond of her, quare as
it'll seem to you. I'd be very sorry she should die."
"Of course you would, Martin; and it doesn't seem queer at all."
"Oh, I wasn't thinking about the money, then, my lord; I was only
thinking of Anty herself: you don't know what a good young woman she
is--it's anything but herself she's thinking of always."
"Did she make any will?"
"Deed she didn't, my lord: nor won't, it's my mind."
"Ah! but she should, after all that you and your mother've gone
through. It'd be a thousand pities that wretch Barry got all the
"He's wilcome to it for the Kellys, av' Anty dies. But av' she lives he
shall niver rob a penny from her. Oh, my lord! we wouldn't put sich a
thing as a will into her head, and she so bad, for all the money the
ould man their father iver had. But, hark! my lord--that's Gaylass, I
know the note well, and she's as true as gould: there's the fox there,
just inside the gorse, as the Parson said"--and away they both trotted,
to the bottom of the plantation, from whence the cheering sound of the
dog's voices came, sharp, sweet, and mellow.
Yes; the Parson was as right as if he had been let into the fox's
confidence overnight, and had betrayed it in the morning. Gaylass was
hardly in the gorse before she discovered the doomed brute's vicinity,
and told of it to the whole canine confraternity. Away from his
hiding-place he went, towards the open country, but immediately
returned into the covert, for he saw a lot of boys before him, who had
assembled with the object of looking at the hunt, but with the very
probable effect of spoiling it; for, as much as a fox hates a dog, he
fears the human race more, and will run from an urchin with a stick
into the jaws of his much more fatal enemy.
"As long as them blackguards is there, a hollowing, and a screeching,
divil a fox in all Ireland'd go out of this," said Mick to his master.
"Ah, boys," said Frank, riding up, "if you want to see a hunt, will you
"Begorra we will, yer honer," said one.
"Faix--we wouldn't be afther spiling your honer's divarsion, my lord,
on no account," said another.
"We'll be out o' this althogether, now this blessed minute," said a
third, but still there they remained, each loudly endeavouring to
banish the others.
At last, however, the fox saw a fair course before him, and away he
went; and with very little start, for the dogs followed him out of the
covert almost with a view.
And now the men settled themselves to the work, and began to strive
for the pride of place, at least the younger portion of them: for in
every field there are two classes of men. Those who go out to get the
greatest possible quantity of riding, and those whose object is to get
the least. Those who go to work their nags, and those who go to spare
them. The former think that the excellence of the hunt depends on the
horses; the latter, on the dogs. The former go to act, and the latter
to see. And it is very generally the case that the least active part of
the community know the most about the sport.
They, the less active part above alluded to, know every high-road and
bye-road; they consult the wind, and calculate that a fox won't run
with his nose against it; they remember this stream and this bog, and
avoid them; they are often at the top of eminences, and only descend
when they see which way the dogs are going; they take short cuts, and
lay themselves out for narrow lanes; they dislike galloping, and eschew
leaping; and yet, when a hard-riding man is bringing up his two hundred
guinea hunter, a minute or two late for the finish, covered with foam,
trembling with his exertion, not a breath left in him--he'll probably
find one of these steady fellows there before him, mounted on a
broken-down screw, but as cool and as fresh as when he was brought out
of the stable; and what is, perhaps, still more amazing, at the end of
the day, when the hunt is canvassed after dinner, our dashing friend,
who is in great doubt whether his thoroughbred steeplechaser will ever
recover his day's work, and who has been personally administering warm
mashes and bandages before he would venture to take his own boots off,
finds he does not know half as much about the hunt, or can tell half as
correctly where the game went, as our, quiet-going friend, whose hack
will probably go out on the following morning under the car, with the
mistress and children. Such a one was Parson Armstrong; and when Lord
Ballindine and most of the others went away after the hounds, he coolly
turned round in a different direction, crept through a broken wall into
a peasant's garden, and over a dunghill, by the cabin door into a road,
and then trotted along as demurely and leisurely as though he were
going to bury an old woman in the next parish.
Frank was, generally speaking, as good-natured a man as is often met,
but even he got excited and irritable when hunting his own pack. All
masters of hounds do. Some one was always too forward, another too near
the dogs, a third interfering with the servants, and a fourth making
too much noise.
"Confound it, Peter," he said, when they had gone over a field or two,
and the dogs missed the scent for a moment, "I thought at any rate you
knew better than to cross the dogs that way."
"Who crossed the dogs?" said the other--"what nonsense you're talking:
why I wasn't out of the potato-field till they were nearly all at the
"Well, it may be nonsense," continued Frank; "but when I see a man
riding right through the hounds, and they hunting, I call that crossing
"Hoicks! tally"--hollowed some one--"there's Graceful has it
again--well done, Granger! Faith, Frank, that's a good dog! if he's not
first, he's always second."
"Now, gentlemen, steady, for heaven's sake. Do let the dogs settle to
their work before you're a-top of them. Upon my soul, Nicholas Brown,
it's ridiculous to see you!"
"It'd be a good thing if he were half as much in a hurry to get to
heaven," said Bingham Blake.
"Thank'ee," said Nicholas; "go to heaven yourself. I'm well enough
where I am."
And now they were off again. In the next field the whole pack caught a
view of the fox just as he was stealing out; and after him they went,
with their noses well above the ground, their voices loud and clear,
and in one bevy.
Away they went: the game was strong; the scent was good; the ground was
soft, but not too soft; and a magnificent hunt they had; but there were
some misfortunes shortly after getting away. Barry Lynch, wishing,
in his ignorance, to lead and show himself off, and not knowing
how--scurrying along among the dogs, and bothered at every leap, had
given great offence to Lord Ballindine. But, not wishing to speak
severely to a man whom he would not under any circumstances address in
a friendly way, he talked at him, and endeavoured to bring him to order
by blowing up others in his hearing. But this was thrown away on Barry,
and he continued his career in a most disgusting manner; scrambling
through gaps together with the dogs, crossing other men without the
slightest reserve, annoying every one, and evidently pluming himself
on his performance. Frank's brow was getting blacker and blacker.
Jerry Blake and young Brown were greatly amusing themselves at
the exhibition, and every now and then gave him a word or two of
encouragement, praising his mare, telling how well he got over that
last fence, and bidding him mind and keep well forward. This was all
new to Barry, and he really began to feel himself in his element;--if
it hadn't been for those abominable walls, he would have enjoyed
himself. But this was too good to last, and before very long he made a
_faux pas_, which brought down on him in a torrent the bottled-up wrath
of the viscount.
They had been galloping across a large, unbroken sheep-walk, which
exactly suited Barry's taste, and he had got well forward towards the
hounds. Frank was behind, expostulating with Jerry Blake and the others
for encouraging him, when the dogs came to a small stone wall about two
feet and a half high. In this there was a broken gap, through which
many of them crept. Barry also saw this happy escape from the grand
difficulty of jumping, and, ignorant that if he rode the gap at all, he
should let the hounds go first, made for it right among them, in spite
of Frank's voice, now raised loudly to caution him. The horse the man
rode knew his business better than himself, and tried to spare the
dogs which were under his feet; but, in getting out, he made a slight
spring, and came down on the haunches of a favourite young hound called
"Goneaway"; he broke the leg close to the socket, and the poor beast
most loudly told his complaint.
This was too much to be borne, and Frank rode up red with passion; and
a lot of others, including the whipper, soon followed.
"He has killed the dog!" said he. "Did you ever see such a clumsy,
ignorant fool? Mr Lynch, if you'd do me the honour to stay away another
day, and amuse yourself in any other way, I should be much obliged."
"It wasn't my fault then," said Barry.
"Do you mean to give me the lie, sir?" replied Frank.
"The dog got under the horse's feet. How was I to help it?"
There was a universal titter at this, which made Barry wish himself at
home again, with his brandy-bottle.
"Ah! sir," said Frank; "you're as fit to ride a hunt as you are to do
anything else which gentlemen usually do. May I trouble you to make
yourself scarce? Your horse, I see, can't carry you much farther, and
if you'll take my advice, you'll go home, before you're ridden over
yourself. Well, Martin, is the bone broken?"
Martin had got off his horse, and was kneeling down beside the poor
hurt brute. "Indeed it is, my lord, in two places. You'd better let
Tony kill him; he has an awful sprain in the back, as well; he'll niver
put a foot to the ground again."
"By heavens, that's too bad! isn't it Bingham? He was, out and out, the
finest puppy we entered last year."
"What can you expect," said Bingham, "when such fellows as that come
into a field? He's as much business here as a cow in a drawing-room."
"But what can we do?--one can't turn him off the land; if he chooses to
come, he must."
"Why, yes," said Bingham, "if he will come he must. But then, if he
insists on doing so, he may be horsewhipped; he may be ridden over;
he may be kicked; and he may be told that he's a low, vulgar, paltry
scoundrel; and, if he repeats his visits, that's the treatment he'll
Barry was close to both the speakers, and of course heard, and was
intended to hear, every word that was said. He contented himself,
however, with muttering certain inaudible defiances, and was seen and
heard of no more that day.
The hunt was continued, and the fox was killed; but Frank and those
with him saw but little more of it. However, as soon as directions were
given for the death of poor Goneaway, they went on, and received a very
satisfactory account of the proceedings from those who had seen the
finish. As usual, the Parson was among the number, and he gave them a
most detailed history, not only of the fox's proceedings during the
day, but also of all the reasons which actuated the animal, in every
different turn he took.
"I declare, Armstrong," said Peter Dillon, "I think you were a fox
yourself, once! Do you remember anything about it?"
"What a run he would give!" said Jerry; "the best pack that was ever
kennelled wouldn't have a chance with him."
"Who was that old chap," said Nicholas Dillon, showing off his
classical learning, "who said that dead animals always became something
else?--maybe it's only in the course of nature for a dead fox to become
a live parson."
"Exactly: you've hit it," said Armstrong; "and, in the same way, the
moment the breath is out of a goose it becomes an idle squireen ,
and, generally speaking, a younger brother."
[FOOTNOTE 38: squireen--diminutive of squire; a minor Irish
gentleman given to "putting on airs" or imitating
the manners and haughtiness of men of greater
"Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Nick," said Jerry; "and take care
how you meddle with the Church again."
"Who saw anything of Lambert Brown?" said another; "I left him bogged
below there at Gurtnascreenagh, and all he could do, the old grey horse
wouldn't move a leg to get out for him."
"Oh, he's there still," said Nicholas. "He was trying to follow me, and
I took him there on purpose. It's not deep, and he'll do no hurt: he'll
keep as well there, as anywhere else."
"Nonsense, Dillon!" said the General--"you'll make his brother really
angry, if you go on that way. If the man's a fool, leave him in his
folly, but don't be playing tricks on him. You'll only get yourself
into a quarrel with the family."
"And how shall we manage about the money, my lord?" said Martin, as he
drew near the point at which he would separate from the rest, to ride
towards Dunmore. "I've been thinking about it, and there's no doubt
about having it for you on Friday, av that'll suit."
"That brother-in-law of yours is a most unmitigated blackguard, isn't
he, Martin?" said Frank, who was thinking more about poor Goneaway than
"He isn't no brother-in-law of mine yet, and probably niver will be,
for I'm afeard poor Anty'll go. But av he iver is, he'll soon take
himself out of the counthry, and be no more throuble to your lordship
or any of us."
"But to think of his riding right a-top of the poor brute, and then
saying that the dog got under his horse's feet! Why, he's a fool as
well as a knave. Was he ever out before?"
"Well, then, I believe he was, twice this year; though I didn't see him
"Then I hope this'll be the last time: three times is quite enough for
such a fellow as that."
"I don't think he'll be apt to show again afther what you and Mr
Bingham said to him. Well, shure, Mr Bingham was very hard on him!"
"Serve him right; nothing's too bad for him."
"Oh, that's thrue for you, my lord: I don't pity him one bit. But about
the money, and this job of my own. Av it wasn't asking too much, it'd
be a great thing av your lordship'd see Daly."
It was then settled that Lord Ballindine should ride over to Dunmore
on the following Friday, and if circumstances seemed to render it
advisable, that he and Martin should go on together to the attorney at
XXIII. DOCTOR COLLIGAN
Doctor Colligan, the Galen of Dunmore, though a practitioner of most
unprepossessing appearance and demeanour, was neither ignorant nor
careless. Though for many years he had courted the public in vain, his
neighbours had at last learned to know and appreciate him; and, at the
time of Anty's illness, the inhabitants of three parishes trusted their
corporeal ailments to his care, with comfort to themselves and profit
to him. Nevertheless, there were many things about Doctor Colligan not
calculated to inspire either respect or confidence. He always seemed
a little afraid of his patient, and very much afraid of his patient's
friends: he was always dreading the appearance at Dunmore of one of
those young rivals, who had lately established themselves at Tuam on
one side, and Hollymount on the other; and, to prevent so fatal a
circumstance, was continually trying to be civil and obliging to his
customers. He would not put on a blister, or order a black dose,
without consulting with the lady of the house, and asking permission
of the patient, and consequently had always an air of doubt and
indecision. Then, he was excessively dirty in his person and practice:
he carried a considerable territory beneath his nails; smelt equally
strongly of the laboratory and the stable; would wipe his hands on
the patient's sheets, and wherever he went left horrid marks of his
whereabouts: he was very fond of good eating and much drinking, and
would neglect the best customer that ever was sick, when tempted by the
fascination of a game of loo. He was certainly a bad family-man; for
though he worked hard for the support of his wife and children, he
was little among them, paid them no attention, and felt no scruple in
assuring Mrs C. that he had been obliged to remain up all night with
that dreadful Mrs Jones, whose children were always so tedious; or that
Mr Blake was so bad after his accident that he could not leave him for
a moment; when, to tell the truth, the Doctor had passed the night with
the cards in his hands, and a tumbler of punch beside him.
He was a tall, thick-set, heavy man, with short black curly hair; was a
little bald at the top of his head; and looked always as though he had
shaved himself the day before yesterday, and had not washed since. His
face was good-natured, but heavy and unintellectual. He was ignorant of
everything but his profession, and the odds on the card-table or the
race-course. But to give him his due, on these subjects he was not
ignorant; and this was now so generally known that, in dangerous cases,
Doctor Colligan had been sent for, many, many miles.
This was the man who attended poor Anty in her illness, and he did
as much for her as could be done; but it was a bad case, and Doctor
Colligan thought it would be fatal. She had intermittent fever, and
was occasionally delirious; but it was her great debility between the
attacks which he considered so dangerous.
On the morning after the hunt, he told Martin that he greatly feared
she would go off, from exhaustion, in a few days, and that it would be
wise to let Barry know the state in which his sister was. There was a
consultation on the subject between the two and Martin's mother, in
which it was agreed that the Doctor should go up to Dunmore House, and
tell Barry exactly the state of affairs.
"And good news it'll be for him," said Mrs Kelly; "the best he heard
since the ould man died. Av he had his will of her, she'd niver rise
from the bed where she's stretched. But, glory be to God, there's a
providence over all, and maybe she'll live yet to give him the go-by."
"How you talk, mother," said Martin; "and what's the use? Whatever he
wishes won't harum her; and maybe, now she's dying, his heart'll be
softened to her. Any way, don't let him have to say she died here,
without his hearing a word how bad she was."
"Maybe he'd be afther saying we murdhered her for her money," said the
widow, with a shudder.
"He can hardly complain of that, when he'll be getting all the money
himself. But, however, it's much betther, all ways, that Doctor
Colligan should see him."
"You know, Mrs Kelly," said the Doctor, "as a matter of course he'll be
asking to see his sister."
"You wouldn't have him come in here to her, would you?--Faix, Doctor
Colligan, it'll be her death out right at once av he does."
"It'd not be nathural, to refuse to let him see her," said the Doctor;
"and I don't think it would do any harm: but I'll be guided by you, Mrs
Kelly, in what I say to him."
"Besides," said Martin, "I know Anty would wish to see him: he is her
brother; and there's only the two of 'em."
"Between you be it," said the widow; "I tell you I don't like it. You
neither of you know Barry Lynch, as well as I do; he'd smother her av
it come into his head."
"Ah, mother, nonsense now; hould your tongue; you don't know what
"Well; didn't he try to do as bad before?"
"It wouldn't do, I tell you," continued Martin, "not to let him see
her; that is, av Anty wishes it."
It ended in the widow being sent into Anty's room, to ask her whether
she had any message to send to her brother. The poor girl knew how ill
she was, and expected her death; and when the widow told her that
Doctor Colligan was going to call on her brother, she said that she
hoped she should see Barry once more before all was over.
"Mother," said Martin, as soon as the Doctor's back was turned, "you'll
get yourself in a scrape av you go on saying such things as that about
folk before strangers."
"Is it about Barry?"
"Yes; about Barry. How do you know Colligan won't be repating all them
things to him?"
"Let him, and wilcome. Shure wouldn't I say as much to Barry Lynch
himself? What do I care for the blagguard?--only this, I wish I'd niver
heard his name, or seen his foot over the sill of the door. I'm sorry I
iver heard the name of the Lynches in Dunmore."
"You're not regretting the throuble Anty is to you, mother?"
"Regretting? I don't know what you mane by regretting. I don't know is
it regretting to be slaving as much and more for her than I would for
my own, and no chance of getting as much as thanks for it."
"You'll be rewarded hereafther, mother; shure won't it all go for
"I'm not so shure of that," said the widow. "It was your schaming to
get her money brought her here, and, like a poor wake woman, as I was,
I fell into it; and now we've all the throuble and the expinse, and the
time lost, and afther all, Barry'll be getting everything when she's
gone. You'll see, Martin; we'll have the wake, and the funeral, and the
docthor and all, on us--mind my words else. Och musha, musha! what'll
I do at all? Faix, forty pounds won't clear what this turn is like to
come to; an' all from your dirthy undherhand schaming ways."
In truth, the widow was perplexed in her inmost soul about Anty; torn
and tortured by doubts and anxieties. Her real love of Anty and true
charity was in state of battle with her parsimony; and then, avarice
was strong within her; and utter, uncontrolled hatred of Barry still
stronger. But, opposed to these was dread of some unforeseen evil--some
tremendous law proceedings: she had a half-formed idea that she was
doing what she had no right to do, and that she might some day be
walked off to Galway assizes. Then again, she had an absurd pride about
it, which often made her declare that she'd never be beat by such a
"scum of the 'arth" as Barry Lynch, and that she'd fight it out with
him if it cost her a hundred pounds; though no one understood what the
battle was which she was to fight.
Just before Anty's illness had become so serious, Daly called, and had
succeeded in reconciling both Martin and the widow to himself; but he
had not quite made them agree to his proposal. The widow, indeed, was
much averse to it. She wouldn't deal with such a Greek as Barry, even
in the acceptance of a boon. When she found him willing to compromise,
she became more than ever averse to any friendly terms; but now the
whole ground was slipping from under her feet. Anty was dying: she
would have had her trouble for nothing; and that hated Barry would gain
his point, and the whole of his sister's property, in triumph.
Twenty times the idea of a will had come into her mind, and how
comfortable it would be if Anty would leave her property, or at any
rate a portion of it, to Martin. But though the thoughts of such a
delightful arrangement kept her in a continual whirlwind of anxiety,
she never hinted at the subject to Anty. As she said to herself, "a
Kelly wouldn't demane herself to ask a brass penny from a Lynch." She
didn't even speak to her daughters about it, though the continual
twitter she was in made them aware that there was some unusual burthen
on her mind.
It was not only to the Kellys that the idea occurred that Anty in her
illness might make a will. The thoughts of such a catastrophe had
robbed Barry of half the pleasure which the rumours of his sister's
dangerous position had given him. He had not received any direct
intimation of Anty's state, but had heard through the servants that she
was ill--very ill--dangerously--"not expected," as the country people
call it; and each fresh rumour gave him new hopes, and new life. He
now spurned all idea of connexion with Martin; he would trample on the
Kellys for thinking of such a thing: he would show Daly, when in the
plenitude of his wealth and power, how he despised the lukewarmness
and timidity of his councils. These and other delightful visions were
floating through his imagination; when, all of a sudden, like a blow,
like a thunderbolt, the idea of _a will_ fell as it were upon him with
a ton weight. His heart sunk low within him; he became white, and his
jaw dropped. After all, there were victory and triumph, plunder and
wealth, _his_ wealth, in the very hands of his enemies! Of course the
Kellys would force her to make a will, if she didn't do it of her
own accord; if not, they'd forge one. There was some comfort in that
thought: he could at any rate contest the will, and swear that it was
He swallowed a dram, and went off, almost weeping to Daly.
"Oh, Mr Daly, poor Anty's dying: did you hear, Mr Daly--she's all but
gone?" Yes; Daly had been sorry to hear that Miss Lynch was very ill.
"What shall I do," continued Barry, "if they say that she's left a
"Go and hear it read. Or, if you don't like to do that yourself, stay
away, and let me hear it."
"But they'll forge one! They'll make out what they please, and when
she's dying, they'll make her put her name to it; or they'll only just
put the pen in her hand, when she's not knowing what she's doing.
They'd do anything now, Daly, to get the money they've been fighting
for so hard."
"It's my belief," answered the attorney, "that the Kellys not only
won't do anything dishonest, but that they won't even take any unfair
advantage of you. But at any rate you can do nothing. You must wait
patiently; you, at any rate, can take no steps till she's dead."
"But couldn't she make a will in my favour? I know she'd do it if I
asked her--if I asked her now--now she's going off, you know. I'm sure
she'd do it. Don't you think she would?"
"You're safer, I think, to let it alone," said Daly, who could hardly
control the ineffable disgust he felt.
"I don't know that," continued Barry. "She's weak, and 'll do what
she's asked: besides, _they'll_ make her do it. Fancy if, when she's
gone, I find I have to share everything with those people!" And he
struck his forehead and pushed the hair off his perspiring face, as he
literally shook with despair. "I must see her, Daly. I'm quite sure
she'll make a will if I beg her; they can't hinder me seeing my own,
only, dying sister; can they, Daly? And when I'm once there, I'll sit
with her, and watch till it's all over. I'm sure, now she's ill, I'd do
anything for her."
Daly said nothing, though Barry paused for him to reply. "Only about
the form," continued he, "I wouldn't know what to put. By heavens,
Daly! you must come with me. You can be up at the house, and I can
have you down at a minute's warning." Daly utterly declined, but Barry
continued to press him. "But you must, Daly; I tell you I know I'm
right. I know her so well--she'll do it at once for the sake--for the
sake of--You know she is my own sister, and all that--and she thinks so
much of that kind of thing. I'll tell you what, Daly; upon my honour
and soul," and he repeated the words in a most solemn tone, "if you'll
draw the will, and she signs it, so that I come in for the whole
thing--and I know she will I'll make over fifty--ay, seventy pounds a
year for you for ever and ever. I will, as I live."
The interview ended by the attorney turning Barry Lynch into the
street, and assuring him that if he ever came into his office again,
on any business whatsoever, he would unscrupulously kick him out.
So ended, also, the connexion between the two; for Daly never got a
farthing for his labour. Indeed, after all that had taken place, he
thought it as well not to trouble his _ci-devant_ client with a bill.
Barry went home, and of course got drunk.
When Doctor Colligan called on Lynch, he found that he was not at home.
He was at that very moment at Tuam, with the attorney. The doctor
repeated his visit later in the afternoon, but Barry had still not
returned, and he therefore left word that he would call early after
breakfast the following morning. He did so; and, after waiting half an
hour in the dining-room, Barry, only half awake and half dressed, and
still half drunk, came down to him.
The doctor, with a long face, delivered his message, and explained
to him the state in which his sister was lying; assured him that
everything in the power of medicine had been and should be done; that,
nevertheless, he feared the chance of recovery was remote; and ended
by informing him that Miss Lynch was aware of her danger, and had
expressed a wish to see him before it might be too late. Could he
make it convenient to come over just now--in half an hour--or say an
hour?--said the doctor, looking at the red face and unfinished toilet
of the distressed brother.
Barry at first scarcely knew what reply to give. On his return from
Tuam, he had determined that he would at any rate make his way into his
sister's room, and, as he thought to himself, see what would come of
it. In his after-dinner courage he had further determined, that he
would treat the widow and her family with a very high hand, if they
dared to make objection to his seeing his sister; but now, when the
friendly overture came from Anty herself, and was brought by one of the
Kelly faction, he felt himself a little confounded, as though he rather
dreaded the interview, and would wish to put it off for a day or two.
"Oh, yes--certainly, Doctor Colligan; to be sure--that is--tell me,
doctor, is she really so bad?"
"Indeed, Mr Lynch, she is very weak."
"But, doctor, you don't think there is any chance--I mean, there isn't
any danger, is there, that she'd go off at once?"
"Why, no, I don't think there is; indeed, I have no doubt she will hold
out a fortnight yet."
"Then, perhaps, doctor, I'd better put it off till to-morrow; I'll tell
you why: there's a person I wish--"
"Why, Mr Lynch, to-day would be better. The fever's periodical, you
see, and will be on her again to-morrow--"
"I beg your pardon, Doctor Colligan," said Barry, of a sudden
remembering to be civil,--"but you'll take a glass of wine?"
"Not a drop, thank ye, of anything."
"Oh, but you will;" and Barry rang the bell and had the wine brought.
"And you expect she'll have another attack to-morrow?"
"That's a matter of course, Mr Lynch; the fever'll come on her again
to-morrow. Every attack leaves her weaker and weaker, and we fear
she'll go off, before it leaves her altogether."
"Poor thing!" said Barry, contemplatively.
"We had her head shaved," said the doctor.
"Did you, indeed!" answered Barry. "She was my favourite sister, Doctor
Colligan--that is, I had no other."
"I believe not," said Doctor Colligan, looking sympathetic.
"Take another glass of wine, doctor?--now do," and he poured out
"Thank'ee, Mr Lynch, thank'ee; not a drop more. And you'll be over in
an hour then? I'd better go and tell her, that she may be prepared, you
know," and the doctor returned to the sick room of his patient.
Barry remained standing in the parlour, looking at the glasses and the
decanter, as though he were speculating on the manner in which they had
been fabricated. "She may recover, after all," thought he to himself.
"She's as strong as a horse--I know her better than they do. I know
she'll recover, and then what shall I do? Stand to the offer Daly made
to Kelly, I suppose!" And then he sat down close to the table, with his
elbow on it, and his chin resting on his hand; and there he remained,
full of thought. To tell the truth, Barry Lynch had never thought more
intensely than he did during those ten minutes. At last he jumped up
suddenly, as though surprised at what had been passing within himself;
he looked hastily at the door and at the window, as though to see that
he had not been watched, and then went upstairs to dress himself,
preparatory to his visit to the inn.
XXIV. ANTY LYNCH'S BED-SIDE SCENE THE FIRST
Anty had borne her illness with that patience and endurance which were
so particularly inherent in her nature. She had never complained; and
had received the untiring attentions and care of her two young friends,
with a warmth of affection and gratitude which astonished them,
accustomed as they had been in every little illness to give and receive
that tender care with which sickness is treated in affectionate
families. When ill, they felt they had a right to be petulant, and to
complain; to exact, and to be attended to: they had been used to it
from each other, and thought it an incidental part of the business. But
Anty had hitherto had no one to nurse her, and she looked on Meg and
Jane as kind ministering angels, emulous as they were to relieve her
wants and ease her sufferings.
Her thin face had become thinner, and was very pale; her head had been
shaved close, and there was nothing between the broad white border of
her nightcap and her clammy brow and wan cheek. But illness was more
becoming to Anty than health; it gave her a melancholy and beautiful
expression of resignation, which, under ordinary circumstances, was
wanting to her features, though not to her character. Her eyes were
brighter than they usually were, and her complexion was clear,
colourless, and transparent. I do not mean to say that Anty in her
illness was beautiful, but she was no longer plain; and even to the
young Kellys, whose feelings and sympathies cannot be supposed to have
been of the highest order, she became an object of the most intense
interest, and the warmest affection.
"Well, doctor," she said, as Doctor Colligan crept into her room, after
the termination of his embassy to Barry; "will he come?"
"Oh, of course he will; why wouldn't he, and you wishing it? He'll be
here in an hour, Miss Lynch. He wasn't just ready to come over with
"I'm glad of that," said Anty, who felt that she had to collect her
thoughts before she saw him; and then, after a moment, she added,
"Can't I take my medicine now, doctor?"
"Just before he comes you'd better have it, I think. One of the girls
will step up and give it you when he's below. He'll want to speak a
word or so to Mrs Kelly before he comes up."
"Spake to me, docthor!" said the widow, alarmed. "What'll he be spaking
to me about? Faix, I had spaking enough with him last time he was
"You'd better just see him, Mrs Kelly," whispered the, doctor. "You'll
find him quiet enough, now; just take him fair and asy; keep him
downstairs a moment, while Jane gives her the medicine. She'd better
take it just before he goes to her, and don't let him stay long,
whatever you do. I'll be back before the evening's over; not that I
think that she'll want me to see her, but I'll just drop in."
"Are you going, doctor?" said Anty, as he stepped up to the bed. He
told her he was. "You've told Mrs Kelly, haven't you, that I'm to see
"Why, I didn't say so," said the doctor, looking at the widow; "but I
suppose there'll be no harm--eh, Mrs Kelly?"
"You must let me see him alone, dear Mrs Kelly!"
"If Doctor Colligan thinks you ought, Anty dear, I wouldn't stay in the
room myself for worlds."
"But you won't keep him here long, Miss Lynch--eh? And you won't excite
yourself?--indeed, you mustn't. You'll allow them fifteen minutes, Mrs
Kelly, not more, and then you'll come up;" and with these cautions, the
"I wish he was come and gone," said the widow to her elder daughter.
"Well; av I'd known all what was to follow, I'd niver have got out of
my warm bed to go and fetch Anty Lynch down here that cowld morning!
Well, I'll be wise another time. Live and larn they say, and it's
"But, mother, you ain't wishing poor Anty wasn't here?"
"Indeed, but I do; everything to give and nothin to get--that's not the
way I have managed to live. But it's not that altogether, neither. I'm
not begrudging Anty anything for herself; but that I'd be dhriven to
let that blagguard of a brother of hers into the house, and that as a
frind like, is what I didn't think I'd ever have put upon me!"
Barry made his appearance about an hour after the time at which they
had begun to expect him; and as soon as Meg saw him, one of them flew
upstairs, to tell Anty and give her her tonic. Barry had made himself
quite a dandy to do honour to the occasion of paying probably a parting
visit to his sister, whom he had driven out of her own house to die at
the inn. He had on his new blue frock-coat, and a buff waistcoat with
gilt buttons, over which his watch-chain was gracefully arranged. His
pantaloons were strapped clown very tightly over his polished boots; a
shining new silk hat was on one side of his head; and in his hand he
was dangling an ebony cane. In spite, however, of all these gaudy
trappings, he could not muster up an easy air; and, as he knocked, he
had that look proverbially attributed to dogs who are going to be hung.
Sally opened the door for him, and the widow, who had come out from the
shop, made him a low courtesy in the passage.
"Oh--ah--yes--Mrs Kelly, I believe?" said Barry.
"Yes, Mr Lynch, that's my name; glory be to God!"
"My sister, Miss Lynch, is still staying here, I believe?"
"Why, drat it, man; wasn't Dr Colligan with you less than an hour ago,
telling you you must come here, av you wanted to see her?"
"You'll oblige me by sending up the servant to tell Miss Lynch I'm
"Walk up here a minute, and I'll do that errand for you myself.--Well,"
continued she, muttering to herself "for him to ax av she war staying
here, as though he didn't know it! There niver was his ditto for
desait, maneness and divilry!"
A minute or two after the widow had left him, Barry found himself by
his sister's bed-side, but never had he found himself in a position for
which he was less fitted, or which was less easy to him. He assumed,
however, a long and solemn face, and crawling up to the bed-side, told
his sister, in a whining voice, that he was very glad to see her.
"Sit down, Barry, sit down," said Anty, stretching out her thin pale
hand, and taking hold of her brother's.
Barry did as he was told, and sat down. "I'm so glad to see you,
Barry," said she: "I'm so very glad to see you once more--" and then
after a pause, "and it'll be the last time, Barry, for I'm dying."
Barry told her he didn't think she was, for he didn't know when he'd
seen her looking better.
"Yes, I am, Barry: Doctor Colligan has said as much; and I should know
it well enough myself, even if he'd never said a word. We're friends
now, are we not?--Everything's forgiven and forgotten, isn't it,
Anty had still hold of her brother's hand, and seemed desirous to keep
it. He sat on the edge of his chair, with his knees tucked in against
the bed, the very picture of discomfort, both of body and mind.
"Oh, of course it is, Anty," said he; "forgive and forget; that was
always my motto. I'm sure I never bore any malice--indeed I never was
so sorry as when you went away, and--"
"Ah, Barry," said Anty; "it was better I went then; may-be it's all
better as it is. When the priest has been with me and given me comfort,
I won't fear to die. But there are other things, Barry, I want to spake
to you about."
"If there's anything I can do, I'm sure I'd do it: if there's anything
at all you wish done.--Would you like to come up to the house again?"
"Oh no, Barry, not for worlds."
"Why, perhaps, just at present, you are too weak to move; only wouldn't
it be more comfortable for you to be in your own house? These people
here are all very well, I dare say, but they must be a great bother to
you, eh?--so interested, you know, in everything they do."
"Ah! Barry, you don't know them."
Barry remembered that he would be on the wrong tack to abuse the
Kellys. "I'm sure they're very nice people," said he; "indeed I always
thought so, and said so--but they're not like your own flesh and blood,
are they, Anty?--and why shouldn't you come up and be--"
"No, Barry," said she; "I'll not do that; as they're so very, very kind
as to let me stay here, I'll remain till--till God takes me to himself.
But they're not my flesh and blood"--and she turned round and looked
affectionately in the face of her brother--"there are only the two of
us left now; and soon, very soon you'll be all alone." Barry felt very
uncomfortable, and wished the interview was over: he tried to say
something, but failed, and Anty went on--"when that time comes, will
you remember what I say to you now?--When you're all alone, Barry; when
there's nothing left to trouble you or put you out--will you think then
of the last time you ever saw your sister, and--"
"Oh, Anty, sure I'll be seeing you again!"
"No, Barry, never again. This is the last time we shall ever meet, and
think how much we ought to be to each other! We've neither of us father
or mother, husband or wife.--When I'm gone you'll be alone: will you
think of me then--and will you remember, remember every day--what I say
to you now?"
"Indeed I will, Anty. I'll do anything, everything you'd have me. Is
there anything you'd wish me to give to any person?"
"Barry," she continued, "no good ever came of my father's will."--Barry
almost jumped off his chair as he heard his sister's words, so much did
they startle him; but he said nothing.--"The money has done me no good,
but the loss of it has blackened your heart, and turned your blood to
gall against me. Yes, Barry--yes--don't speak now, let me go on;--the
old man brought you up to look for it, and, alas, he taught you to
look for nothing else; it has not been your fault, and I'm not blaming
you--I'm not maning to blame you, my own brother, for you are my
own"--and she turned round in the bed and shed tears upon his hand, and
kissed it.--"But gold, and land, will never make you happy,--no, not
all the gold of England, nor all the land the old kings ever had could
make you happy, av the heart was bad within you. You'll have it all
now, Barry, or mostly all. You'll have what you think the old man
wronged you of; you'll have it with no one to provide for but yourself,
with no one to trouble you, no one to thwart you. But oh, Barry, av
it's in your heart that that can make you happy--there's nothing before
you but misery--and death--and hell." Barry shook like a child in the
clutches of its master--"Yes, Barry; misery and death, and all the
tortures of the damned. It's to save you from this, my own brother,
to try and turn your heart from that foul love of money, that your
sister is now speaking to you from her grave.--Oh, Barry! try and
cure it. Learn to give to others, and you'll enjoy what you have
yourself.--Learn to love others, and then you'll know what it is to be
loved yourself. Try, try to soften that hard heart. Marry at once,
Barry, at once, before you're older and worse to cure; and you'll have
children, and love them; and when you feel, as feel you must, that the
money is clinging round your soul, fling it from you, and think of the
last words your sister said to you."
The sweat was now running down the cheeks of the wretched man, for the
mixed rebuke and prayer of his sister had come home to him, and touched
him; but it was neither with pity, with remorse, nor penitence. No; in
that foul heart there was no room, even for remorse; but he trembled
with fear as he listened to her words, and, falling on his knees, swore
to her that he would do just as she would have him.
"If I could but think," continued she, "that you would remember what I
"Oh, I will, Anty: I will--indeed, indeed, I will!"
"If I could believe so, Barry--I'd die happy and in comfort, for I love
you better than anything on earth;" and again she pressed his hot red
hand--"but oh, brother! I feel for you:--you never kneel before the
altar of God--you've no priest to move the weight of sin from your
soul--and how heavy that must be! Do you remember, Barry; it's but
a week or two ago and you threatened to kill me for the sake of our
father's money? you wanted to put me in a mad-house; you tried to make
me mad with fear and cruelty; me, your sister; and I never harmed or
crossed you. God is now doing what you threatened; a kind, good God
is now taking me to himself, and you will get what you so longed for
without more sin on your conscience; but it'll never bless you, av
you've still the same wishes in your heart, the same love of gold--the
same hatred of a fellow-creature."
"Oh, Anty!" sobbed out Barry, who was now absolutely in tears, "I was
drunk that night; I was indeed, or I'd never have said or done what I
"And how often are you so, Barry?--isn't it so with you every night?
That's another thing; for my sake, for your own sake--for God's sake,
give up the dhrink. It's killing you from day to day, and hour to hour.
I see it in your eyes, and smell it in your breath, and hear it in your
voice; it's that that makes your heart so black:--it's that that gives
you over, body and soul, to the devil. I would not have said a word
about that night to hurt you now; and, dear Barry, I wouldn't have said
such words as these to you at all, but that I shall never speak to
you again. And oh! I pray that you'll remember them. You're idle now,
always:--don't continue so; earn your money, and it will be a blessing
to you and to others. But in idleness, and drunkenness, and wickedness,
it will only lead you quicker to the devil."
Barry reiterated his promises; he would take the pledge; he would work
at the farm; he would marry and have a family; he would not care the
least for money; he would pay his debts; he would go to church, or
chapel, if Anty liked it better; at any rate, he'd say his prayers; he
would remember every word she had said to the last day of his life;
he promised everything or anything, as though his future existence
depended on his appeasing his dying sister. But during the whole time,
his chief wish, his longing desire, was to finish the interview, and
get out of that horrid room. He felt that he was mastered and cowed by
the creature whom he had so despised, and he could not account for the
feeling. Why did he not dare to answer her? She had told him he would
have her money: she had said it would come to him as a matter of
course; and it was not the dread of losing that which prevented his
saying a word in his own defence. No; she had really frightened him:
she had made him really feel that he was a low, wretched, wicked
creature, and he longed to escape from her, that he might recover his
"I have but little more to say to you, Barry," she continued, "and that
little is about the property. You will have it all, but a small sum of
Here Anty was interrupted by a knock at the door, and the entrance of
the widow. She came to say that the quarter of an hour allowed by the
doctor had been long exceeded, and that really Mr Barry ought to take
his leave, as so much talking would be bad for Anty.
This was quite a god-send for Barry, who was only anxious to be off;
but Anty begged for a respite.
"One five minutes longer, dear Mrs Kelly," said she, "and I shall have
done; only five minutes--I'm much stronger now, and really it won't
"Well, then--mind, only five minutes," said the widow, and again left
"You don't know, Barry--you can never know how good that woman has been
to me; indeed all of them--and all for nothing. They've asked nothing
of me, and now that they know I'm dying, I'm sure they expect nothing
from me. She has enough; but I wish to leave something to Martin, and
the girls;" and a slight pale blush covered her wan cheeks and forehead
as she mentioned Martin's name. "I will leave him five hundred pounds,
and them the same between them. It will be nothing to you, Barry, out
of the whole; but see and pay it at once, will you?" and she looked
kindly into his face.
He promised vehemently that he would, and told her not to bother
herself about a will: they should have the money as certainly as if
twenty wills were made. To give Barry his due, at that moment, he meant
to be as good as his word. Anty, however, told him that she would make
a will; that she would send for a lawyer, and have the matter properly
"And now," she said, "dear Barry, may God Almighty bless you--may He
guide you and preserve you; and may He, above all, take from you that
horrid love of the world's gold and wealth. Good bye," and she raised
herself up in her bed--"good bye, for the last time, my own dear
brother; and try to remember what I've said to you this day. Kiss me
before you go, Barry."
Barry leaned over the bed, and kissed her, and then crept out of the
room, and down the stairs, with the tears streaming down his red
cheeks; and skulked across the street to his own house, with his hat
slouched over his face, and his handkerchief held across his mouth.
XXV. ANTY LYNCH'S BED-SIDE SCENE THE SECOND
Anty was a good deal exhausted by her interview with her brother, but
towards evening she rallied a little, and told Jane, who was sitting
with her, that she wanted to say one word in private, to Martin. Jane
was rather surprised, for though Martin was in the habit of going into
the room every morning to see the invalid, Anty had never before asked
for him. However, she went for Martin, and found him.
"Martin," said she; "Anty wants to see you alone, in private."
"Me?" said Martin, turning a little red. "Do you know what it's about?"
"She didn't say a word, only she wanted to see you alone; but I'm
thinking it's something about her brother; he was with her a long long
time this morning, and went away more like a dead man than a live one.
But come, don't keep her waiting; and, whatever you do, don't stay
long; every word she spakes is killing her."
Martin followed his sister into the sick-room, and, gently taking
Anty's offered hand, asked her in a whisper, what he could do for her.
Jane went out; and, to do her justice sat herself down at a distance
from the door, though she was in a painful state of curiosity as to
what was being said within.
"You're all too good to me, Martin," said Anty; "you'll spoil me,
between you, minding every word I say so quick."
Martin assured her again, in a whisper, that anything and everything
they could do for her was only a pleasure.
"Don't mind whispering," said Anty; "spake out; your voice won't hurt
me. I love to hear your voices, they're all so kind and good. But
Martin, I've business you must do for me, and that at once, for I feel
within me that I'll soon be gone from this."
"We hope not, Anty; but it's all with God now--isn't it? No one knows
that betther than yourself."
"Oh yes, I do know that; and I feel it is His pleasure that it should
be so, and I don't fear to die. A few weeks back the thoughts of death,
when they came upon me, nearly killed me; but that feeling's all gone
Martin did not know what answer to make; he again told her he hoped she
would soon get better. It is a difficult task to talk properly to a
dying person about death, and Martin felt that he was quite incompetent
to do so.
"But," she continued, after a little, "there's still much that I want
to do,--that I ought to do. In the first place, I must make my will."
Martin was again puzzled. This was another subject on which he felt
himself equally unwilling to speak; he could not advise her not to make
one; and he certainly would not advise her to do so.
"Your will, Anty?--there's time enough for that; you'll be sthronger
you know, in a day or two. Doctor Colligan says so--and then we'll talk
"I hope there is time enough, Martin; but there isn't more than enough;
it's not much that I'll have to say--"
"Were you spaking to Barry about it this morning?"
"Oh, I was. I told him what I'd do: he'll have the property now,
mostly all as one as av the ould man had left it to him. It would
have been betther so, eh Martin?" Anty never doubted her lover's
disinterestedness; at this moment she suspected him of no dirty longing
after her money, and she did him only justice. When he came into her
room he had no thoughts of inheriting anything from her. Had he been
sure that by asking he could have induced her to make a will in his
favour, he would not have done so. But still his heart sunk a little
within him when he heard her declare that she was going to leave
everything back to her brother. It was, however, only for a moment; he
remembered his honest determination firmly and resolutely to protect
their joint property against any of her brother's attempts, should he
ever marry her; but in no degree to strive or even hanker after it,
unless it became his own in a fair, straightforward manner.
"Well, Anty; I think you're right," said he. "But wouldn't it all go to
Barry, nathurally, without your bothering yourself about a will, and
you so wake."
"In course it would, at laist I suppose so; but Martin," and she smiled
faintly as she looked up into his face, "I want the two dear, dear
girls, and I want yourself to have some little thing to remember me by;
and your dear kind mother,--she doesn't want money, but if I ask her to
take a few of the silver things in the house, I'm sure she'll keep them
for my sake. Oh, Martin! I do love you all so very--so very much!" and
the warm tears streamed down her cheeks.
Martin's eyes were affected, too: he made a desperate struggle to
repress the weakness, but he could not succeed, and was obliged to own
it by rubbing his eyes with the sleeve of his coat. "And I'm shure,
Anty," said he, "we all love you; any one must love you who knew you."
And then he paused: he was trying to say something of his own true
personal regard for her, but he hardly knew how to express it. "We all
love you as though you were one of ourselves--and so you are--it's all
the same--at any rate it is to me."
"And I would have been one of you, had I lived. I can talk to you more
about it now, Martin, than I ever could before, because I know I feel I
"But you mustn't talk, Anty; it wakens you, and you've had too much
talking already this day."
"It does me good, Martin, and I must say what I have to say to you. I
mayn't be able again. Had it plazed God I should have lived, I would
have prayed for nothing higher or betther than to be one of such a
family as yourselves. Had I been--had I been"--and now Anty blushed
again, and she also found a difficulty in expressing herself; but she
soon got over it, and continued, "had I been permitted to marry you,
Martin, I think I would have been a good wife to you. I am very, very
sure I would have been an affectionate one."
"I'm shure you would--I'm shure you would, Anty. God send you may
still: av you war only once well again there's nothing now to hindher
"You forget Barry," Anty said, with a shudder. "But it doesn't matther
talking of that now"--Martin was on the point of telling her that Barry
had agreed, under certain conditions, to their marriage: but, on second
thoughts, he felt it would be useless to do so; and Anty continued,
"I would have done all I could, Martin. I would have loved you fondly
and truly. I would have liked what you liked, and, av I could, I
would've made your home quiet and happy. Your mother should have been
my mother, and your sisthers my sisthers."
"So they are now, Anty--so they are now, my own, own Anty--they love
you as much as though they were."
"God Almighty bless them for their goodness, and you too, Martin. I
cannot tell you, I niver could tell you, how I've valued your honest
thrue love, for I know you have loved me honestly and thruly; but I've
always been afraid to spake to you. I've sometimes thought you must
despise me, I've been so wake and cowardly."
"Despise you, Anty?--how could I despise you, when I've always loved
"But now, Martin, about poor Barry--for he is poor. I've sometimes
thought, as I've been lying here the long long hours awake, that,
feeling to you as I do, I ought to be laving you what the ould man left
"I'd be sorry you did, Anty. I'll not be saying but what I thought of
that when I first looked for you, but it was never to take it from you,
but to share it with you, and make you happy with it."
"I know it, Martin: I always knew it and felt it."
"And now, av it's God's will that you should go from us, I'd rather
Barry had the money than us. We've enough, the Lord be praised; and I
wouldn't for worlds it should be said that it war for that we brought
you among us; nor for all County Galway would I lave it to Barry to
say, that when you were here, sick, and wake, and dying, we put a pen
into your hand to make you sign a will to rob him of what should by
rights be his."
"That's it, dear Martin; it wouldn't bless you if you had it; it can
bless no one who looks to it alone for a blessing. It wouldn't make you
happy--it would make you miserable, av people said you had that which
you ought not to have. Besides, I love my poor brother; he is my
brother, my only real relation; we've lived all our lives together;
and though he isn't what he should be, the fault is not all his own, I
should not sleep in my grave, av I died with his curse upon me; as I
should, av he found, when I am gone, that I'd willed the property all
away. I've told him he'd have it all--nearly all; and I've begged him,
prayed to him, from my dying bed, to mend his ways; to try and be
something betther in the world than what I fear he's like to be. I
think he minded what I said when he was here, for death-bed words have
a solemn sound to the most worldly; but when I'm gone he'll be all
alone, there'll be no one to look afther him. Nobody loves him--no one
even likes him; no one will live with him but those who mane to rob
him; and he will be robbed, and plundered, and desaved, when he thinks
he's robbing and desaving others." Anty paused, more for breath than
for a reply, but Martin felt that he must say something.
"Indeed, Anty, I fear he'll hardly come to good. He dhrinks too much,
by all accounts; besides, he's idle, and the honest feeling isn't in
"It's thrue, dear Martin; it's too thrue. Will you do me a great great
favour, Martin"--and she rose up a little and turned her moist clear
eye full upon him--"will you show your thrue love to your poor Anty,
by a rale lasting kindness, but one that'll be giving you much much
throuble and pain? Afther I'm dead and gone--long long after I'm in my
cold grave, will you do that for me, Martin?".
"Indeed I will, Anty," said Martin, rather astonished, but with a look
of solemn assurance; "anything that I can do, I will: you needn't dread
my not remembering, but I fear it isn't much that I can do for you."
"Will you always think and spake of Barry--will you always act to him
and by him, and for him, not as a man whom you know and dislike, but as
my brother--your own Anty's only brother?--Whatever he does, will you
thry to make him do betther? Whatever troubles he's in, will you lend
him your hand? Come what come may to him, will you be his frind? He has
no frind now. When I'm gone, will you be a frind to him?"
Martin was much confounded. "He won't let me be his frind," he said;
"he looks down on us and despises us; he thinks himself too high to be
befrinded by us. Besides, of all Dunmore he hates us most."
"He won't when he finds you haven't got the property from him: but
frindship doesn't depend on letting--rale frindship doesn't. I don't
want you to be dhrinking, and ating, and going about with him. God
forbid!--you're too good for that. But when you find he wants a frind,
come forward, and thry and make him do something for himself. You can't
but come together; you'll be the executhor in the will; won't you,
Martin? and then he'll meet you about the property; he can't help it,
and you must meet then as frinds. And keep that up. If he insults you,
forgive it or my sake; if he's fractious and annoying, put up with it
for my sake; for my sake thry to make him like you, and thry to make
others like him." Martin felt that this would be impossible, but he
didn't say so--"No one respects him now, but all respect you. I see it
in people's eyes and manners, without hearing what they say. Av you
spake well of him--at any rate kindly of him, people won't turn
themselves so against him. Will you do all this, for my sake?"
Martin solemnly promised that, as far as he could, he would do so;
that, at any rate as far as himself was concerned, he would never
quarrel with him.
"You'll have very, very much to forgive," continued Anty; "but then
it's so sweet to forgive; and he's had no fond mother like you; he has
not been taught any duties, any virtues, as you have. He has only been
taught that money is the thing to love, and that he should worship
nothing but that. Martin, for my sake, will you look on him as a
brother?--a wicked, bad, castaway brother; but still as a brother, to
be forgiven, and, if possible, redeemed?"
"As I hope for glory in Heaven, I will," said Martin; "but I think
he'll go far from this; I think he'll quit Dunmore."
"Maybe he will; perhaps it's betther he should; but he'll lave his name
behind him. Don't be too hard on that, and don't let others; and even
av he does go, it'll not be long before he'll want a frind, and I don't
know anywhere he can go that he's likely to find one. Wherever he may
go, or whatever he may do, you won't forget he was my brother; will
you, Martin? You won't forget he was your own Anty's only brother."
Martin again gave her his solemn word that he would, to the best of his
ability, act as a friend and brother to Barry.
"And now about the will." Martin again endeavoured to dissuade her from
thinking about a will just at present.
"Ah! but my heart's set upon it," she said; "I shouldn't be happy
unless I did it, and I'm sure you don't want to make me unhappy, now.
You must get me some lawyer here, Martin; I'm afraid you're not lawyer
enough for that yourself."
"Indeed I'm not, Anty; it's a trade I know little about."
"Well; you must get me a lawyer; not to-morrow, for I know I shan't be
well enough; but I hope I shall next day, and you may tell him just
what to put in it. I've no secrets from you." And she told him exactly
what she had before told her brother. "That'll not hurt him," she
continued; "and I'd like to think you and the dear girls should accept
something from me."
Martin then agreed to go to Daly. He was on good terms with them all
now, since making the last offer to them respecting the property;
besides, as Martin said, "he knew no other lawyer, and, as the will was
so decidedly in Barry's favour, who was so proper to make it as Barry's
"Good-bye now, Martin," said Anty; "we shall be desperately scolded for
talking so long; but it was on my mind to say it all, and I'm betther
now it's all over."
"Good night, dear Anty," said Martin, "I'll be seeing you to-morrow."
"Every day, I hope, Martin, till it's all over. God bless you, God
bless you all--and you above all. You don't know, Martin--at laist
you didn't know all along, how well, how thruly I've loved you. Good
night," and Martin left the room, as Barry had done, in tears. But he
had no feeling within him of which he had cause to be ashamed. He was
ashamed, and tried to hide his face, for he was not accustomed to be
seen with the tears running down his cheeks; but still he had within
him a strong sensation of gratified pride, as he reflected that he was
the object of the warmest affection to so sweet a creature as Anty
"Well, Martin--what was it she wanted?" said his mother, as she met him
at the bottom of the stairs.
"I couldn't tell you now, mother," said he; "but av there was iver an
angel on 'arth, it's Anty Lynch." And saying so, he pushed open the
door and escaped into the street.
"I wondher what she's been about now?" said the widow, speculating to
herself--"well, av she does lave it away from Barry, who can say but
what she has a right to do as she likes with her own?--and who's done
the most for her, I'd like to know?"--and pleasant prospects of her
son's enjoying an independence flitted before her mind's eye. "But
thin," she continued, talking to herself, "I wouldn't have it said in
Dunmore that a Kelly demaned hisself to rob a Lynch, not for twice
all Sim Lynch ever had. Well--we'll see; but no good 'll ever come of
meddling with them people. Jane, Jane," she called out, at the top of
her voice, "are you niver coming down, and letting me out of this?--bad
manners to you."
Jane answered, in the same voice, from the parlour upstairs, "Shure,
mother, ain't I getting Anty her tay?"
"Drat Anty and her tay!--Well, shure, I'm railly bothered now wid them
Lynches!--Well, glory be to God, there's an end to everything--not that
I'm wishing her anywhere but where she is; she's welcome, for Mary
XXVI. LOVE'S AMBASSADOR
Two days after the hunt in which poor Goneaway was killed by Barry's
horse, Ballindine received the following letter from his friend Dot
Limmer's Hotel, 27th March, 1844.
I and Brien, and Bottom, crossed over last Friday night, and, thanks
to the God of storms, were allowed to get quietly through it. The
young chieftain didn't like being boxed on the quay a bit too well;
the rattling of the chains upset him, and the fellows there are
so infernally noisy and awkward, that I wonder he was ever got on
board. It's difficult to make an Irishman handy, but it's the very
devil to make him quiet. There were four at his head, and three at
his tail, two at the wheel, turning, and one up aloft, hallooing
like a demon in the air; and when Master Brien showed a little
aversion to this comic performance, they were going to drag him into
the box _bon gre, mal gre_, till Bottom interposed and saved the men
and the horse from destroying each other.
We got safe to Middleham on Saturday night, the greatest part of the
way by rail. Scott has a splendid string of horses. These English
fellows do their work in tiptop style, only they think more of
spending money than they do of making it. I waited to see him out on
Monday, when he'd got a trot, and he was as bright as though he'd
never left the Curragh. Scott says he's a little too fine; but you
know of course he must find some fault. To give Igoe his due, he
could not be in better condition, and Scott was obliged to own that,
_considering where he came from_, he was very well. I came on here
on Tuesday, and have taken thirteen wherever I could get it, and
thought the money safe. I have got a good deal on, and won't budge
till I do it at six to one; and I'm sure I'll bring him to that. I
think he'll rise quickly, as he wants so little training, and as his
qualities must be at once known now he's in Scott's stables; so if
you mean to put any more on you had better do it at once.
So much for the stables. I left the other two at home, but have one
of my own string here, as maybe I'll pick up a match: and now I
wish to let you know a report that I heard this morning--at least
a secret, which bids fair to become a report. It is said that
Kilcullen is to marry F---- W----, and that he has already paid
Heaven only knows how many thousand pounds of debt with her money;
that the old earl has arranged it all, and that the beautiful
heiress has reluctantly agreed to be made a viscountess. I'm very
far from saying that I believe this; but it may suit you to know
that I heard the arrangement mentioned before two other persons, one
of whom was Morris;--strange enough this, as he was one of the set
at Handicap Lodge when you told them that the match with yourself
was still on. I have no doubt the plan would suit father and son;
you best know how far the lady may have been likely to accede. At
any rate, my dear Frank, if you'll take my advice, you'll not sit
quiet till she does marry some one. You can't expect she'll wear the
willow for you very long, if you do nothing yourself. Write to her
by post, and write to the earl by the same post, saying you have
done so. Tell her in the sweetest way you can, that you cannot live
without seeing her, and getting your _conge_ , if _conge_ it is
to be, from her own dear lips; and tell him, in as few words, as you
please, that you mean to do yourself the honour of knocking at his
door on such and such a day--and do it.
[FOOTNOTE 39: conge--(French) dismissal, notice to quit]
By the bye, Kilcullen certainly returns to Ireland immediately.
There's been the devil's own smash among him and the Jews. He has
certainly been dividing money among them; but not near enough, by
all accounts, to satisfy the half of them. For the sake of your
reputation, if not of your pocket, don't let him walk off with the
hundred and thirty thousand pounds. They say it's not a penny less.
Very faithfully yours,
Shall I do anything for you here about Brien? I think I might still
get you eleven to one, but let me hear at once.
As Frank read the first portion of this epistle, his affection for his
poor dear favourite nag returned in full force, and he felt all the
pangs of remorse for having parted with him; but when he came to the
latter part, to Lord Kilcullen's name, and the initials by which his
own Fanny was designated, he forgot all about horse and owner; became
totally regardless of thirteen, eleven, and six to one, and read on
hastily to the end; read it all again--then closed the letter, and
put it in his pocket, and remained for a considerable time in silent
contemplation, trying to make up his mind what he would do.
Nobody was with him as he opened his post-bag, which he took from the
messenger as the boy was coming up to the house; he therefore read his
letter alone, on the lawn, and he continued pacing up and down before
the house with a most perturbed air, for half an hour.
Kilcullen going to marry Fanny Wyndham! So, that was the cause of Lord
Cashel's singular behaviour--his incivility, and refusal to allow Frank
to see his ward. "What! to have arranged it all in twenty-four hours,"
thought Frank to himself; "to have made over his ward's money to his
son, before her brother, from whom she inherited it, was in his grave:
to determine at once to reject an accepted suitor for the sake of
closing on the poor girl's money--and without the slightest regard for
her happiness, without a thought for her welfare! And then, such lies,"
said the viscount, aloud, striking his heel into the grass in his angry
impetuosity; "such base, cruel lies!--to say that she had authorised
him, when he couldn't have dared to make such a proposal to her, and
her brother but two days dead. Well; I took him for a stiff-necked
pompous fool, but I never thought him such an avaricious knave." And
Fanny, too--could Fanny have agreed, so soon, to give her hand to
another? She could not have transferred her heart. His own dear, fond
Fanny! A short time ago they had been all in all to each other; and now
so completely estranged as they were! However, Dot was right; up to
this time Fanny might be quite true to him; indeed, there was not
ground even for doubting her, for it was evident that no reliance was
to be placed in Lord Cashel's asseverations. But still he could not
expect that she should continue to consider herself engaged, if she
remained totally neglected by her lover. He must do something, and that
at once; but there was very great difficulty in deciding what that
something was to be. It was easy enough for Dot to say, first write,
and then go. If he were to write, what security was there that his
letter would be allowed to reach Fanny? and, if he went, how much less
chance was there that he would be allowed to see her. And then, again
to be turned out of the house! again informed, by that pompous scheming
earl, that his visits there were not desired. Or, worse still, not to
be admitted; to be driven from the door by a footman who would well
know for what he came! No; come what come might, he would never again
go to Grey Abbey; at least not unless he was specially and courteously
invited thither by the owner; and then it should only be to marry his
ward, and take her from the odious place, never to return again.
"The impudent impostor!" continued Frank to himself; "to pretend to
suspect me, when he was himself hatching his dirty, mercenary,