Part 4 out of 10
sofa. 'I think I understood you rightly, when you desired me, less than a
month ago, to inform Lord Ballindine that circumstances that is, his own
conduct obliged you to decline the honour of his alliance. Did you not do
so spontaneously, and of your own accord?'
'Certainly, uncle, I agreed to take your advice; though I did so most
'Had I not your authority for desiring him I won't say to discontinue his
visits, for that he had long done but to give up his pretensions to your
hand? Did you not authorise me to do so?'
'I believe I did. But, uncle '
'And I have done as you desired me; and now, Fanny, that I have done so now
that I have fully explained to him what you taught me to believe were your
wishes on the subject, will you tell me for I really think your aunt must
have misunderstood you what it is that you wish me to do?'
'Why, uncle, you pointed out and it was very true then, that my fortune was
not sufficient to enable Lord Ballindine to keep up his rank. It is
different now, and I am very, very sorry that it is so; but it is different
now, and I feel that I ought not to reject Lord Ballindine, because I am so
much richer than I was when he when he proposed to me.'
'Then it's merely a matter of feeling with you, and not of affection? If I
understand you, you are afraid that you should be thought to have treated
Lord Ballindine badly?'
'It 's not only that ' And then she paused for a few moments, and added, 'I
thought I could have parted with him, when you made me believe that I ought
to do so, but I find I cannot.'
'You mean that you love him?' and the earl looked very black at his niece.
He intended to frighten her out of her resolution, but she quietly
'Yes, uncle, I do.'
'And you want me to tell him so, after having banished him from my house?'
Fanny's eyes again shot fire at the word 'banished', but she answered, very
quietly, and even with a smile,
'No, uncle; but I want you to ask him here again. I might tell him the rest
'But, Fanny, dear,' said the countess, 'your uncle couldn't do it: you
know, he told him to go away before. Besides, I really don't think he'd
come; he's so taken up with those horrid horses, and that Mr Blake, who is
worse than any of 'em. Really, Fanny, Kilcullen says that he and Mr Blake
are quite notorious.'
'I think, aunt, Lord Kilcullen might be satisfied with looking after
himself. If it depended on him, he never had a kind word to say for Lord
'But you know, Fanny,' continued the aunt, 'he knows everybody; and if he
says Lord Ballindine is that sort of person, why, it must be so, though I'm
sure I'm very sorry to hear it.'
Lord Cashel saw that he could not trust any more to his wife: that last hit
about Kilcullen had been very unfortunate; so he determined to put an end
to all Fanny's yearnings after her lover with a strong hand, and said,
'If you mean, Fanny, after what has passed, that I should go to Lord
Ballindine, and give him to understand that he is again welcome to Grey
Abbey, I must at once tell you that it is absolutely absolutely impossible.
If I had no personal objection to the young man on any prudential score,
the very fact of my having already, at your request, desired his absence
from my house, would be sufficient to render it impossible. I owe too much
to my own dignity, and am too anxious for your reputation, to think of
doing such a thing. But when I also remember that Lord Ballindine is a
reckless, dissipated gambler I much fear, with no fixed principle, I should
consider any step towards renewing the acquaintance between you a most
wicked and unpardonable proceeding.'
When Fanny heard her lover designated as a reckless gambler, she lost all
remaining feelings of fear at her uncle's anger, and, standing up, looked
him full in the face through her tears.
'It's not so, my lord!' she said, when he had finished. 'He is not what you
have said. I know him too well to believe such things of him, and I will
not submit to hear him abused.'
'Oh, Fanny, my dear!' said the frightened countess; 'don't speak in that
way. Surely, your uncle means to act for your own happiness; and don't you
know Lord Ballindine has those horrid horses?'
'If I don't mind his horses, aunt, no one else need; but he's no gambler,
and he's not dissipated I'm sure not half so much so as Lord Kilcullen.'
'In that, Fanny, you're mistaken,' said the earl; 'but I don't wish to
discuss the matter with you. You must, however, fully understand this: Lord
Ballindine cannot be received under this roof. If you regret him, you must
remember that his rejection was your own act. I think you then acted most
prudently, and I trust it will not be long before you are of the same
opinion yourself,' and Lord Cashel moved to the door as though he had
accomplished his part in the interview.
'Stop one moment, uncle,' said Fanny, striving hard to be calm, and hardly
succeeding. 'I did not ask my aunt to speak to you on this subject, till I
had turned it over and over in my mind, and resolved that I would not make
myself and another miserable for ever, because I had been foolish enough
not to know my mind. You best know whether you can ask Lord Ballindine to
Grey Abbey or not; but I am determined, if I cannot see him here, that I
will see him somewhere else,' and she turned towards the door, and then,
thinking of her aunt, she turned back and kissed her, and immediately left
The countess looked up at her husband, quite dumbfounded, and he seemed
rather distressed himself. However, he muttered something about her being a
hot-headed simpleton and soon thinking better about it, and then betook
himself to his private retreat, to hold sweet converse with his own
thoughts having first rung the bell for Griffiths, to pick up the scattered
threads of her mistress's knitting.
Lord Cashel certainly did not like the look of things. There was a
determination in Fanny's eye, as she made her parting speech, which upset
him rather, and which threw considerable difficulties in the way of Lord
Kilcullen's wooing. To be sure, time would do a great deal: but then, there
wasn't so much time to spare. He had already taken steps to borrow the
thirty thousand pounds, and had, indeed, empowered his son to receive it:
he had also pledged himself for the other fifty; and then, after all, that
perverse fool of a girl would insist on being in love with that scapegrace,
Lord Ballindine! This, however, might wear away, and he would take very
good care that she should hear of his misdoings. It would be very odd if,
after all, his plans were to be destroyed, and his arrangements
disconcerted by his own ward, and niece especially when he designed so
great a match for her!
He could not, however, make himself quite comfortable, though he had great
confidence in his own diplomatic resources.
XV HANDICAP LODGE
Lord Ballindine left Grey Abbey, and rode homewards, towards Handicap
Lodge, in a melancholy and speculative mood. His first thoughts were all of
Harry Wyndham. Frank, as the accepted suitor of his sister, had known him
well and intimately, and had liked him much; and the poor young fellow had
been much attached to him. He was greatly shocked to hear of his death. It
was not yet a month since he had seen him shining in all the new-blown
splendour of his cavalry regimentals, and Lord Ballindine was unfeignedly
grieved to think how short a time the lad had lived to enjoy them. His
thoughts, then, naturally turned to his own position, and the declaration
which Lord Cashel had made to him respecting himself. Could it be
absolutely true that Fanny had determined to give him up altogether? After
all her willing vows, and assurances of unalterable affection, could she be
so cold as to content herself with sending him a formal message, by her
uncle, that she did not wish to see him again? Frank argued with himself
that it was impossible; he was sure he knew her too well. But still, Lord
Cashel would hardly tell him a downright lie, and he had distinctly stated
that the rejection came from Miss Wyndham herself.
Then, he began to feel indignant, and spurred his horse, and rode a little
faster, and made a few resolutions as to upholding his own dignity. He
would run after neither Lord Cashel nor his niece; he would not even ask
her to change her mind, since she had been able to bring herself to such a
determination as that expressed to him. But he would insist on seeing her;
she could not refuse that to him, after what had passed between them, and
he would then tell her what he thought of her, and leave her for ever. But
no; he would do nothing to vex her, as long as she was grieving for her
brother. Poor Harry! she loved him so dearly! Perhaps, after all, his
sudden rejection was, in some manner, occasioned by this sad event, and
would be revoked as her sorrow grew less with time. And then, for the first
time, the idea shot across his mind, of the wealth Fanny must inherit by
her brother's death.
It certainly had a considerable effect on him, for he breathed slow awhile,
and was some little time before he could entirely realise the conception
that Fanny was now the undoubted owner of a large fortune. 'That is it,'
thought he to himself, at last; 'that sordid earl considers that he can now
be sure of a higher match for his niece, and Fanny has allowed herself to
be persuaded out of her engagement: she has allowed herself to. be talked
into the belief that it was her duty to give up a poor man like me.' And
then, he felt very angry again. 'Heavens!' said he to himself 'is it
possible she should be so servile and so mean? Fanny Wyndham, who cared so
little for the prosy admonitions of her uncle, a few months since, can she
have altered her disposition so completely? Can the possession of her
brother's money have made so vile a change in her character? Could she be
the same Fanny who had so entirely belonged to him, who had certainly loved
him truly once? Perish her money I he had sought her from affection alone;
he had truly and fondly loved her; he had determined to cling to her, in
spite of the advice of his friends! And then, he found himself deserted and
betrayed by her, because circumstances had given her the probable power of
making a better match!'
Such were Lord Ballindine's thoughts; and he flattered himself with the
reflection that he was a most cruelly used, affectionate, and disinterested
lover. He did not, at the moment, remember that it was Fanny's twenty
thousand pounds which had first attracted his notice; and that he had for a
considerable time wavered, before he made up his mind to part with himself
at so low a price. It was not to be expected that he should remember that,
just at present; and he rode on, considerably out of humour with all the
world except himself.
As he got near to Handicap Lodge, however, the genius of the master-spirit
of that classic spot came upon him, and he began to bethink himself that It
'would be somewhat foolish of him to give up the game just at present. He
reflected that a hundred thousand pounds would work a wondrous change and
improvement at Kelly's Court and that, if he was before prepared to marry
Fanny Wyndham in opposition to the wishes of her guardian, he should now be
doubly determined to do so, even though all Grey Abbey had resolved to the
contrary. The last idea in his mind, as he got off his horse at his
friend's door was, as to what Dot Blake would think, and say, of the
tidings he brought home with him?
It was dark when he reached Handicap Lodge, and, having first asked whether
Mr Blake was in, and heard that he was dressing for dinner, he went to
perform the same operation himself. When he came down, full of his budget,
and quite ready, as usual, to apply to Dot for advice, he was surprised,
and annoyed, to find two other gentlemen in the room, together with Blake.
What a bore! to have to make one of a dinner-party of four, and the long
protracted rubber of shorts which would follow it, when his mind was so
full of other concerns! However, it was not to be avoided.
The guests were, the fat, good-humoured, ready-witted Mat Tierney, and a
little Connaught member of Parliament, named Morris, who wore a wig, played
a very good rubber of whist, and knew a good deal about selling hunters. He
was not very bright, but he told one or two good stories of his own
adventures in the world, which he repeated oftener than was approved of by
his intimate friends; and he drank his wine plentifully and discreetly for,
if he didn't get a game of cards after consuming a certain quantum, he
invariably went to sleep.
There was something in the manner in which the three greeted him, on
entering the room, which showed him that they had been speaking of him and
his affairs. Dot was the first to address him.
'Well, Frank, I hope I am to wish you joy. I hope you've made a good
morning's work of it?'
Frank looked rather distressed: before he could answer, however, Mat
'Well, Ballindine, upon my soul I congratulate you sincerely, though, of
course, you've seen nothing at Grey Abbey but tears and cambric
handkerchiefs. I'm very glad, now, that what Kilcullen told me wasn't true.
He left Dublin for London yesterday, and I suppose he won't hear of his
cousin's death before he gets there.'
'Upon my honour, Lord Ballindine,' said the horse-dealing member, 'you are
a lucky fellow. I believe old Wyndham was a regular golden nabob, and I
suppose, now, you'll touch the whole of his gatherings.'
Dot and his guests had heard of Harry Wyndham's death, and Fanny's
accession of fortune; but they had not heard that she had rejected her
lover, and that he had been all but turned out of her guardian's house. Nor
did he mean to tell them; but he did not find himself pleasantly situated
in having to hear their congratulations and listen to their jokes, while he
himself felt that the rumour which he had so emphatically denied to Mat
Tierney, only two days since, had turned out to be true.
Not one of the party made the slightest reference to the poor brother from
whom Fanny's new fortune had come, except as the lucky means of conveying
it to her. There was no regret even pretended for his early death, no
sympathy expressed with Fanny's sorrow. And there was, moreover, an evident
conviction in the minds of all the three, that Frank, of course, looked on
the accident as a piece of unalloyed good fortune a splendid windfall in
his way, unattended with any disagreeable concomitants. This grated against
his feelings, and made him conscious that he was not yet heartless enough
to be quite fit for, the society in which he found himself.
The party soon went into the dining-room; and Frank at first got a little
ease, for Fanny Wyndham seemed to be forgotten in the willing devotion
which was paid to Blake's soup; the interest of the fish, also, seemed to
be absorbing; and though conversation became more general towards the
latter courses, still it was on general subjects, as long as the servants
were in the room. But, much to his annoyance, his mistress again came on
the tapis, together with the claret.
'You and Kilcullen don't hit it of together eh, Ballindine?' said Mat.
'We never quarrelled,' answered Frank; 'we never, however, were very
'I wonder at that, for you're both fond of the turf. There's a large string
of his at Murphy's now, isn't there, Dot?'
'Too many, I believe,' said Blake. 'If you've a mind to be a purchaser,
you'll find him a very pleasant fellow especially if you don't object to
his own prices.'
'Faith I'll not trouble him,' said Mat; 'I've two of them already, and a
couple on the turf and a couple for the saddle are quite enough to suit me.
But what the deuce made him say, so publicly, that your match was off,
Ballindine? He couldn't have heard of Wyndham's death at the time, or I
should think he was after the money himself.'
'I cannot tell; he certainly had not my authority,' said Frank.
'Nor the lady's either, I hope.'
'You had better ask herself, Tierney; and, if she rejects me, maybe she'll
'There's a speculation for you,' said Blake; 'you don't think yourself too
old yet, I hope, to make your fortune by marriage? and, if you don't, I'm
sure Miss Wyndham can't.'
'I tell you what, Dot, I admire Miss Wyndham much, and I admire a hundred
thousand pounds more. I don't know anything I admire more than a hundred
thousand pounds, except two; but, upon my word, I wouldn't take the money
and the lady together.'
'Well, that's kind of him, isn't it, Frank? So, you've a chance left, yet.'
'Ah! but you forget Morris,' said Tierney; 'and there's yourself, too. If
Ballindine is not to be the lucky man, I don't see why either of you should
'Oh! as for me, I'm the devil. I've a tail, only I don't wear it, except on
state occasions; and I've horns and hoofs, only people can't see them. But
I don't see why Morris should not succeed: he's the only one of the four
that doesn't own a racehorse, and that's much in his favour. What do you
'I'd have no objection,' said the member; 'except that I wouldn't like to
stand in Lord Ballindine's way.'
'Oh! he's the soul of good-nature. You wouldn't take it ill of him, would
'Not the least,' said Frank, sulkily; for he didn't like the conversation,
and he didn't know how to put a stop to it.
'Perhaps you wouldn't mind giving him a line of introduction to Lord
Cashel,' said Mat.
'But, Morris,' aid Blake, 'I'm afraid your politics would go against you. A
Repealer would never go down at Grey Abbey.'
'Morris'll never let his politics harm him,' said Tierney. 'Repeal's a very
good thing the other side of the Shannon; or one might, carry it as far as
Conciliation Hall, if one was hard pressed, and near an election. Were you
ever in Conciliation Hall yet, Morris?'
'No, Mat; but I'm going next Thursday. Will you go with me?'
'Faith, I will not: but I think you should go; you ought to do something
for your country, for you're a patriot. I never was a public man.'
'Well, when I can do any good for my country, I'll go there. Talking of
that, I saw O'Connell in town yesterday, and I never saw him looking so
well. The verdict hasn't disturbed him much. I wonder what steps the
Government will take now? They must be fairly bothered. I don't think they
dare imprison him.'
'Not dare!' said Blake 'and why not? When they had courage to indict him,
you need not fear but what they'll dare to go on with a strong hand, now
they have a verdict.'
'I'll tell you what, Dot; if they imprison the whole set,' said Mat, 'and
keep them in prison for twelve months, every Catholic in Ireland will be a
Repealer by the end of that time.'
'And why shouldn't they all be Repealers?' said Morris. 'It seems to me
that it's just as natural for us to be Repealers, as it is for you to be
'I won't say they don't dare to put them in prison,' continued Mat; 'but I
will say they'll be great fools to do it. The Government have so good an
excuse for not doing so: they have such an easy path out of the hobble.
There was just enough difference of opinion among the judges just enough
irregularity in the trial, such as the omissions of the names from the long
panel to enable them to pardon the whole set with a good grace.'
'If they did,' said Blake, 'the whole high Tory party in this country peers
and parsons would be furious. They'd lose one set of supporters, and
wouldn't gain another. My opinion is, they'll lock the whole party up in
the stone jug for some time, at least.'
'Why,' said Tierney, 'their own party could not quarrel with them for not
taking an advantage of a verdict, as to the legality of which there is so
much difference of opinion even among the judges. I don't know much about
these things, myself; but, as far as I can understand, they would have all
been found guilty of high treason a few years back, and probably have been
hung or beheaded; and if they could do that now, the country would be all
the quieter. But they can't: the people will have their own way; and if
they want the people to go easy, they shouldn't put O'Connell into prison.
Rob them all of the glories of martyrdom, and you'd find you'll cut their
combs and stop their crowing.'
'It's not so easy to do that now, Mat,' said Morris. 'You'll find that the
country will stick to O'Connell, whether he's in prison or out of it; but
Peel will never dare to put him there. They talk of the Penitentiary; but
I'll tell you what, if they put him there, the people of Dublin won't leave
one stone upon another; they'd have it all down in a night.'
'You forget, Morris, how near Richmond barracks are to the Penitentiary.'
'No, I don't. Not that I think there'll be any row of the kind, for I'll
bet a hundred guineas they're never put in prison at all.'
'Done,' said Dot, and his little book was out 'put that down, Morris, and
I'll initial it: a hundred guineas, even, that O'Connell is not in prison
within twelve months of this time.'
'Very well: that is, that he's not put there and kept there for six months,
in consequence of the verdict just given at the State trials.'
'No, my boy; that's not it. I said nothing about being kept there six
months. They're going to try for a writ of error, or what the devil they
call it, before the peers. But I'll bet you a cool hundred he is put in
prison before twelve months are over, in consequence of the verdict. If
he's locked up there for one night, I win. Will you take that?'
'Well, I will,' said Morris; and they both went to work at their little
'I was in London,' said Mat, 'during the greater portion of the trial and
it's astonishing what unanimity of opinion there was at the club that the
whole set would be acquitted. I heard Howard make bet, at the Reform Club,
that the only man put in prison would be the Attorney-General.'
'He ought to have included the Chief Justice,' said Morris. 'By the bye,
Mat, is that Howard the brother of the Honourable and Riverind Augustus?'
'Upon my soul, I don't know whose brother he is. Who is the Riverind
'Morris wants to tell a story, Mat,' said Blake; 'don't spoil him, now.'
'Indeed I don't,' said the member: 'I never told it to any one till I
mentioned it to you the other day. It only happened the other day, but it
is worth telling.'
'Out with it, Morris,' said Mat, 'it isn't very long, is it? because, if it
is, we'll get Dot to give us a little whiskey and hot water first. I'm sick
of the claret.'
'Just as you like, Mat,' and Blake rang the bell, and the hot water was
'You know Savarius O'Leary,' said Morris, anxious to tell his story, 'eh,
'What, Savy, with the whiskers?' said Tierney, 'to be sure I do. Who
doesn't know Savy?'
'You know him, don't you, Lord Ballindine?' Morris was determined everybody
should listen to him.
'Oh yes, I know him; he comes from County Mayo his property's close to
mine; that is, the patch of rocks and cabins which he has managed to
mortgage three times over, and each time for more than its value which he
still calls the O'Leary estate.'
'Well; some time ago that is, since London began to fill, O'Leary was seen
walking down Regent Street, with a parson. How the deuce he'd ever got hold
of the parson, or the parson of him, was never explained; but Phil Mahon
saw him, and asked him who his friend in the white choker was. "Is it my
friend in black, you mane?" says Savy, "thin, my frind was the Honourable
and the Riverind Augustus Howard, the Dane." "Howard the Dane," said Mahon,
"how the duce did any of the Howards become Danes?" "Ah, bother!" said
Savy, "it's not of thim Danes he is; it's not the Danes of Shwaden I mane,
at all, man; but a rural Dane of the Church of England."
Mat Tierney laughed heartily at this, and even Frank forgot that his
dignity had been hurt, and that he meant to be sulky; and he laughed also:
the little member was delighted with his success, and felt himself
encouraged to persevere.
'Ah, Savy's a queer fellow, if you knew him,' he continued, turning to Lord
Ballindine, 'and, upon my soul, lie 's no fool. Oh, if you knew him as
'Didn't you hear Ballindine say he was his next, door neighbour in Mayo?'
said Blake, 'or, rather, next barrack neighbour; for they dispense with
doors in Mayo eh, Frank? and their houses are all cabins or barracks.'
'Why, we certainly don't pretend to all the Apuleian luxuries of Handicap
Lodge; but we are ignorant enough to think ourselves comfortable, and
swinish enough to enjoy our pitiable state.'
'I beg ten thousand pardons, my dear fellow. I didn't mean to offend your
nationality. Castlebar, we must allow, is a fine provincial city though
Killala's the Mayo city, I believe; and Claremorris, which is your own town
I think, is, as all admit, a gem of Paradise: only it's a pity so many of
the houses have been unroofed lately. It adds perhaps to the picturesque
effect, but it must, I should think, take away from the comfort.'
'Not a house in Claremorris belongs to me,' said Lord Ballindine, again
rather sulky, 'or ever did to any of my family. I would as soon own
Claremorris, though, as I would Castleblakeney. Your own town is quite as
shattered-looking a place.'
'That's quite true but I have some hopes that Castleblakeney will be
blotted out of the face of creation before I come into possession.'
'But I was saying about Savy O'Leary,' again interposed Morris, 'did you
ever hear what he did?' But Blake would not allow his guest the privilege
of another story. 'If you encourage Morris,' said he, "we shall never get
our whist,' and with that he rose from the table and walked away into the
next room. They played high. Morris always played high if he could, for he
made money by whist. Tierney was not a gambler by profession; but the men
he lived among all played, and he, therefore, got into the way of it, and
played the game well, for he was obliged to do so in his own defence. Blake
was an adept at every thing of the kind; and though the card-table was not
the place where his light shone brightest, still he was quite at home at
As might be supposed, Lord Ballindine did not fare well among the three. He
played with each of them, one after the other, and lost with them all.
Blake, to do him justice, did not wish to see his friend's money go into
the little member's pocket, and, once or twice, proposed giving up; but
Frank did not second the proposal, and Morris was inveterate. The
consequence was that, before the table was broken up, Lord Ballindine had
lost a sum of money which he could very ill spare, and went to bed in a
very unenviable state of mind, in spite of the brilliant prospects on which
his friends congratulated him.
XVI BRIEN BORU
The next morning, at breakfast, when Frank was alone with Blake, he
explained to him how matters really stood at Grey Abbey. He told him how
impossible he had found it to insist, on seeing Miss Wyndham so soon after
her brother's death, and how disgustingly disagreeable, stiff and repulsive
the earl had been; and, by degrees, they got to talk of other things, and
among them, Frank's present pecuniary miseries.
'There can be no doubt, I suppose,' said Dot, when Frank had consoled
himself by anathematising the earl for ten minutes, 'as to the fact of Miss
Wyndham's inheriting her brother's fortune?'
'Faith, I don't know; I never thought about her fortune if you'll believe
me. I never even remembered that her brother's death would in any way
affect her in the way of money, until after I left Grey Abbey.'
'Oh, I can believe you capable of anything in the way of imprudence.'
'Ah, but, Dot, to think of that pompous fool who sits and caws in that
dingy book-room of his, with as much wise self-confidence as an antiquated
raven to think of him insinuating that I had come there looking for Harry
Wyndham's money; when, as you know, I was as ignorant of the poor fellow's
death as Lord Cashel was himself a week ago. Insolent blackguard! I would
never, willingly, speak another word to him, or put my foot inside that
infernal door of his, if it were to get ten times all Harry Wyndham's
'Then, if I understand you, you now mean to relinquish your claims to Miss
'No; I don't believe she ever sent the message her uncle gave me. I don't
see why I'm to give her up, just because she's got this money.'
'Nor I, Frank, to tell the truth; especially considering how badly you want
it yourself. But I don't think quarrelling with the uncle is the surest way
to get the niece.'
'But, man, he quarrelled with me.'
'It takes two people to quarrel. If he quarrelled with you, do you be the
less willing to come to loggerheads with him.'
'Wouldn't it be the best plan, Dot, to carry her off?'
'She wouldn't go, my boy: rope ladders and post-chaises are out of
'But if she's really fond of me and, upon my honour, I don't believe I'm
flattering myself in thinking that she is why the deuce shouldn't she marry
me, malgré Lord Cashel? She must be her own mistress in a week or two. By
heavens, I cannot stomach that fellow's arrogant assumption of
'It will be much more convenient for her to marry you bon gré Lord Cashel,
whom you may pitch to the devil, in any way you like best, as soon as you
have Fanny Wyndham at Kelly's Court. But, till that happy time, take my
advice, and submit to the cawing. Rooks and ravens are respectable birds,
just because they do look so wise. It's a great thing to look wise; the
doing so does an acknowledged fool, like Lord Cashel, very great credit.'
'But what ought I to do? I can't go to the man's house when he told me
expressly not to do so.'
'Oh, yes, you can: not immediately, but by and by in a month or six weeks.
I'll tell you what I should do, in your place; and remember, Frank, I'm
quite in earnest now, for it's a very different thing playing a game for
twenty thousand pounds, which, to you, joined to a wife, would have been a
positive irreparable loss, and starting for five or six times that sum,
which would give you an income on which you might manage to live.'
'Well, thou sapient counsellor but, I tell you beforehand, the chances are
ten to one I shan't follow your plan.'
'Do as you like about that: you shan't, at any rate, have me to blame. I
would in the first place, assure myself that Fanny inherited her brother's
'There's no doubt about that. Lord Cashel said as much.'
'Make sure of it however. A lawyer'll do that for you, with very little
trouble. Then, take your name off the turf at once; it's worth your while
to do it now. You may either do it by a bona fide sale of the horses, or by
running them in some other person's name. Then, watch your opportunity,
call at Grey Abbey, when the earl is not at home, and manage to see some of
the ladies. If you can't do that, if you can't effect an entrée, write to
Miss Wyndham; don't be too lachrymose, or supplicatory, in your style, but
ask her to give you a plain answer personally, or in her own handwriting.'
'And if she declines the honour?'
'If, as you say and as I believe, she loves, or has loved you, I don't
think she'll do so. She'll submit to a little parleying, and then she'll
capitulate. But it will be much better that you should see her, if
possible, without writing at all.'
'I don't like the idea of calling at Grey Abbey. I wonder whether they'll
go to London this season?'
'If they do, you can go after them. The truth is simply this, Ballindine;
Miss Wyndham will follow her own fancy in the matter, in spite of her
guardian; but, if you make no further advances to her, of course she can
make none to you. But I think the game is in your own hand. You haven't the
head to play it, or I should consider the stakes as good as won.'
'But then, about these horses, Dot. I wish I could sell them, out and out,
'You'll find it very difficult to get anything like the value for a horse
that's well up for the Derby. You see, a purchaser must make up his mind to
so much outlay: there's the purchase-money, and expense of English
training, with so remote a chance of any speedy return.'
'But you said you'd advise me to sell them.'
'That's if you can get a purchaser or else run them in another name. You
may run them in my name, if you like it; but Scott must understand that
I've nothing whatever to do with the expense.'
'Would you not buy them yourself, Blake?'
'No. I would not.'
'If I gave you anything like the value for them, the bargain would not suit
me; and if I got them for what they'd be worth to me, you'd think, and
other people would say, that I'd robbed you.'
Then followed a lengthened and most intricate discourse on the affairs of
the stable. Frank much wanted his friend to take his stud entirely off his
hands, but this Dot resolutely refused to do. In the course of
conversation, Frank owned that the present state of his funds rendered it
almost impracticable for him to incur the expense of sending his favourite,
Brien Boru, to win laurels in England. He had lost nearly three hundred
pounds the previous evening which his account at his banker's did not
enable him to pay; his Dublin agent had declined advancing him more money
at present, and his tradesmen were very importunate. In fact, he was in a
scrape, and Dot must advise him how to extricate himself from it.
'I'll tell you the truth, Ballindine,' said he; 'as far as I'm concerned
myself, I never will lend money, except where I see, as a matter of
business, that it is a good speculation to do so. I wouldn't do it for my
'Who asked you?' said Frank, turning very red, and looking very angry.
'You did not, certainly; but I thought you might, and you would have been
annoyed when I refused you; now, you have the power of being indignant,
instead. However, having said so much, I'll tell you what I think you
should do, and what I will do to relieve you, as far as the horses are
concerned. Do you go down to Kelly's Court, and remain there quiet for a
time. You'll be able to borrow what money you absolutely want down there,
if the Dublin fellows actually refuse; but do with as little as you can.
The horses shall run in my name for twelve months. If they win, I will
divide with you at the end of the year the amount won, after deducting
their expenses. If they lose, I will charge you with half the amount lost,
including the expenses. Should you not feel inclined, at the end of the
year, to repay me this sum, I will then keep the horses, instead, or sell
them at Dycer's, if you like it better, and hand you the balance if there
be any. What do you say to this? You will be released from all trouble,
annoyance, and expense, and the cattle will, I trust, be in good hands.'
'That is to say, that, for one year, you are to possess one half of
whatever value the horses may be?'
'Exactly: we shall be partners for one year.'
'To make that fair,' said Frank, 'you ought to put into the concern three
horses, as good and as valuable as my three.'
'Yes; and you ought to bring into the concern half the capital to be
expended in their training; and knowledge, experience, and skill in making
use of them, equal to mine. No, Frank; you're mistaken if you think that I
can afford to give up my time, merely for the purpose of making an
arrangement to save you from trouble.'
'Upon my word, Dot,' answered the other, 'you're about the coolest hand I
ever met! Did I ask you for your precious time, or anything else? You're
always afraid that you're going to be done. Now, you might make a
distinction between me and some of your other friends, and remember that I
am not in the habit of doing anybody.'
'Why, I own I don't think it very likely that I, or indeed anyone else,
should suffer much from you in that way, for your sin is not too much
'Then why do you talk about what you can afford to do?'
'Because it's necessary. I made a proposal which you thought an unfair one.
You mayn't believe me, but it is a most positive fact, that my only object
in making that proposal was, to benefit you. You will find it difficult to
get rid of your horses on any terms; and yet, with the very great stake
before you in Miss Wyndham's fortune, it would be foolish in you to think
of keeping them; and, on this account, I thought in what manner. I could
take them from you. If they belong to my stables I shall consider myself
bound to run them to the best advantage, and '
'Well, well for heaven's sake don't speechify about it.'
'Stop a moment, Frank, and listen, for I must make you understand. I must
make you see that I am not taking advantage of your position, and trying to
rob my own friend in my own house. I don't care what most people say of me,
for in my career I must expect people to lie of me. I must, also, take care
of myself. But I do wish you to know, that though I could not disarrange my
schemes for you, I would not take you in.'
'Why, Dot how can you go on so? I only thought I was taking a leaf out of
your book, by being careful to make the best bargain I could.'
'Well, as I was saying I would run the horses to the best
advantage especially Brien, for the Derby: by doing so, my whole book would
be upset: I should have to bet all round again and, very likely, not be
able to get the bets I want. I could not do this without a very strong
interest in the horse. Besides, you remember that I should have to go over
with him to England myself, and that I should be obliged to be in England a
great deal at a time when my own business would require me here.'
'My dear fellow,' said Frank, 'you're going on as though it were necessary
to defend yourself. I never accused you of anything.'
'Never mind whether you did or no. You understand me now: if it will suit
you, you can take my offer, but I should be glad to know at once.'
While this conversation was going on, the two young men had left the house,
and sauntered out into Blake's stud-yard. Here were his stables, where he
kept such horses as were not actually in the trainer's hands and a large
assortment of aged hunters, celebrated timber-jumpers, brood mares,
thoroughbred fillies, cock-tailed colts, and promising foals. They were
immediately joined by Blake's stud groom, who came on business intent, to
request a few words with his master; which meant that Lord Ballindine was
to retreat, as it was full time for his friend to proceed to his regular
day's work. Blake's groom was a very different person in appearance, from
the sort of servant in the possession of which the fashionable owner of two
or three horses usually rejoices. He had no diminutive top boots; no loose
brown breeches, buttoned low beneath the knee; no elongated waistcoat with
capacious pockets; no dandy coat with remarkably short tail. He was a very
ugly man of about fifty, named John Bottom, dressed somewhat like a seedy
gentleman; but he understood his business well, and did it; and was
sufficiently wise to know that he served his own pocket best, in the long
run, by being true to his master, and by resisting the numerous tempting
offers which were made to him by denizens of the turf to play foul with his
master's horses. He was, therefore, a treasure to Blake; and he knew it,
and valued himself accordingly.
'Well, John,' said his master, 'I suppose I must desert Lord Ballindine
again, and obey your summons. Your few words will last nearly till dinner,
'Why, there is a few things, to be sure, 'll be the better for being talked
over a bit, as his lordship knows well enough. I wish we'd as crack a nag
in our stables, as his lordship.'
'Maybe we may, some day; one down and another come on, you know; as the
'At any rate, your horses don't want bottom' said Frank.
He he he! laughed John, or rather tried to do so. He had laughed at that
joke a thousand times; and, in the best of humours, he wasn't a merry man.
'Well, Frank,' said Blake, 'the cock has crowed; I must away. I suppose
you'll ride down to Igoe's, and see Brien: but think of what I've said,
and,' he added, whispering 'remember that I will do the best I can for the
animals, if you put them into my stables. They shall be made second to
nothing, and shall only and always run to win.'
So, Blake and John Bottom walked off to the box tables and home paddocks.
Frank ordered his horse, and complied with his friend's suggestion, by
riding down to Igoe's. He was not in happy spirits as he went; he felt
afraid that his hopes, with regard to Fanny, would be blighted; and that,
if he persevered in his suit, he would only be harassed, annoyed, and
disappointed. He did not see what steps he could take, or how he could
manage to see her. It would be impossible for him to go to Grey Abbey,
after having been, as he felt, turned out by Lord Cashel. Other things
troubled him also. What :should he now do with himself? It was true that he
could go down to his own house; but everyone at Kelly's Court expected him
to bring with him a bride and a fortune; and, instead of that, he would
have to own that he had been jilted, and would be reduced to the
disagreeable necessity of borrowing money from his own tenants. And then,
that awful subject, money took possession of him. What the deuce was he to
do? What a fool he had been, to be seduced on to the turf by such a man as
Blake! And then, he expressed a wish to himself that Blake had been a long
way off before he ever saw him. There he was, steward of the Curragh, the
owner of the best horse in Ireland, and absolutely without money to enable
him to carry on the game till he could properly retreat from it!
Then he was a little unfair upon his friend: he accused him of knowing his
position, and wishing to take advantage of it; and, by the time he had got
to Igoe's, his mind was certainly not in a very charitable mood towards
poor Dot. He had, nevertheless, determined to accept his offer, and to take
a last look at the three Milesians.
The people about the stables always made a great fuss with Lord Ballindine,
partly because he was one of the stewards, and partly because he was going
to run a crack horse for the Derby in England; and though, generally
speaking, he did not care much for personal complimentary respect, he
usually got chattered and flattered into good humour at Igoe's.
'Well, my lord,' said a sort of foreman, or partner, or managing man, who
usually presided over the yard, 'I think we'll be apt to get justice to
Ireland on the downs this year. That is, they'll give us nothing but what
we takes from 'em by hard fighting, or running, as the case may be.'
'How 's Brien looking this morning, Grady?'
'As fresh as a primrose, my lord, and as clear as crystal: he's ready, this
moment, to run through any set of three years old as could be put on the
'I'm afraid you're putting him on too forward.'
'Too forrard, is it, my lord? not a bit. He's a hoss as naturally don't
pick up flesh; though he feeds free, too. He's this moment all wind and
bottom, though, as one may say, he's got no training. He's niver been
sthretched yet. Faith it's thrue I'm telling you, my lord.'
'I know Scott doesn't like getting horses, early in the season, that are
too fine too much drawn up; he thinks they lose power by it, and so they
do; it's the distance that kills them, at the Derby. It's so hard to get a
young horse to stay the distance.'
'That's thrue, shure enough, my lord; and there isn't a gentleman this side
the wather, anyway, undherstands thim things betther than your lordship.'
'Well, Grady, let's have a look at the young chieftain: he's all right
about the lungs, anyway.'
'And feet too, my lord; niver saw a set of claner feet with plates on: and
legs too! If you were to canter him down the road, I don't think he'd feel
it; not that I'd like to thry, though.'
'Why, he's not yet had much to try them.'
'Faix, he has, my lord: didn't he win the Autumn Produce Stakes?'
'The only thing he ever ran for.'
'Ah, but I tell you, as your lordship knows very well no one betther that
it's a ticklish thing to bring a two year old to the post, in anything like
condition with any running in him at all, and not hurt his legs.'
'But I think he's all right eh, Grady?'
'Right? your lordship knows he's right. I wish he may be made righter at
John Scott's, that's all. But that's unpossible.'
'Of course, Grady, you think he might be trained here, as well as at the
other side of the water?'
'No, I don't, my lord: quite different. I've none of thim ideas at all, and
never had, thank God. I knows what we can do, and I knows what they can
do breed a hoss in Ireland, train him in the North of England, and run him
in the South; and he'll do your work for you, and win your money, steady
'And why not run in the North, too?'
'They're too 'cute, my lord: they like to pick up the crumbs
themselves small blame to thim in that matther. No; a bright Irish nag,
with lots of heart, like Brien Boru, is the hoss to stand on for the Derby;
where all run fair and fair alike, the best wins; but I won't say but he'll
be the betther for a little polishing at Johnny Scott's.'
'Besides, Grady, no horse could run immediately after a sea voyage. Do you
remember what a show we made of Peter Simple at Kilrue?'
'To be shure I does, my lord: besides, they've proper gallops there, which
we haven't and they've betther manes of measuring horses: why, they can
measure a horse to half a pound, and tell his rale pace on a two-mile
course, to a couple of seconds. Take the sheets off, Larry, and let his
lordship run his hand over him. He's as bright as a star, isn't he?'
'I think you're getting him too fine. I'm sure Scott'll say so.'
'Don't mind him, my lord. He's not like one of those English cats, with
jist a dash of speed about 'em, and nothing more brutes that they put in
training half a dozen times in as many months. Thim animals pick up a lot
of loose, flabby flesh in no time, and loses it in less; and, in course,
av' they gets a sweat too much, there's nothin left in 'em; not a hapoth.
Brien's a different guess sort of animal from that.'
'Were you going to have him out, Grady?'
'Why, we was not that is, only just for walking exercise, with his sheets
on: but a canter down the half mile slope, and up again by the bushes won't
go agin him.'
'Well, saddle him then, and let Pat get up.'
'Yes, my lord'; and Brien was saddled by the two men together, with much
care and ceremony; and Pat was put up 'and now, Pat,' continued Grady,
'keep him well in hand down the slope don't let him out at all at all, till
you come to the turn: when you're fairly round the corner, just shake your
reins the laste in life, and when you're halfway up the rise, when the lad
begins to snort a bit, let him just see the end of the switch just raise it
till it catches his eye; and av' he don't show that he's disposed for
running, I'm mistaken. We'll step across to the bushes, my lord, and see
him come round.'
Lord Ballindine and the managing man walked across to the bushes
accordingly, and Pat did exactly as he was desired. It was a pretty thing
to see the beautiful young animal, with his sleek brown coat shining like a
lady's curls, arching his neck, and throwing down his head, in his
impatience to start. He was the very picture of health and symmetry; when
he flung up his head you'd think the blood was running from his nose, his
nostrils were so ruddy bright. He cantered off in great impatience, and
fretted and fumed because the little fellow on his back would be the
master, and not let him have his play down the slope, and round the corner
by the trees. It was beautiful to watch him, his motions were so easy, so
graceful. At the turn he answered to the boy's encouragement, and mended
his pace, till again he felt the bridle, and then, as the jock barely moved
his right arm, he bounded up the rising ground, past the spot where Lord
Ballindine and the trainer were standing, and shot away till he was beyond
the place where he knew his gallop ordinarily ended. As Grady said, he
hadn't yet been stretched; he had never yet tried his own pace, and he had
that look so beautiful in a horse when running, of working at his ease, and
much within his power.
'He's a beautiful creature,' said Lord Ballindine, as he mournfully
reflected that he was about to give up to Dot Blake half the possession of
his favourite, and the whole of the nominal title. It was such a pity he
should be so hampered; the mere éclat of possessing such a horse was so
great a pleasure; 'He is a fine creature,' said he, 'and, I am sure, will
'Your lordship may say that: he'll go precious nigh to astonish the Saxons,
I think. I suppose the pick-up at the Derby'll be nigh four thousand this
'I suppose it will something like that.'
'Well; I would like a nag out of our stables to do the trick on the downs,
and av' we does it iver, it'll be now. Mr Igoe's standing a deal of cash on
him. I wonder is Mr Blake standing much on him, my lord?'
'You'd be precious deep, Grady, if you could find what he's doing in that
'That's thrue for you, my lord; but av' he, or your lordship, wants to get
more on, now's the time. I'll lay twenty thousand pounds this moment, that
afther he's been a fortnight at Johnny Scott's the odds agin him won't be
more than ten to one, from that day till the morning he comes out on the
'I dare say not.'
'I wondher who your lordship'll put up?'
'That must depend on Scott, and what sort of a string he has running. He's
nothing, as yet, high in the betting, except Hardicanute.'
'Nothing, my lord; and, take my word for it, that horse is ownly jist run
up for the sake of the betting; that's not his nathural position. Well,
Pat, you may take the saddle off. Will your lordship see the mare out
'Not today, Grady. Let's see, what's the day she runs?'
'The fifteenth of May, my lord. I'm afraid Mr Watts' Patriot'll be too much
for her; that's av' he'll run kind; but he don't do that always. Well, good
morning to your lordship.'
'Good morning, Grady;' and Frank rode back towards Handicap Lodge.
He had a great contest with himself on his road home. He had hated the
horses two days since, when he was at Grey Abbey, and had hated himself,
for having become their possessor; and now he couldn't bear the thought of
parting with them. To be steward of the Curragh to own the best horse of
the year and to win the Derby, were very pleasant things in themselves; and
for what was he going to give over all this glory, pleasure and profit, to
another? To please a girl who had rejected him, even jilted him, and to
appease an old earl who had already turned him out of his house! No, he
wouldn't do it. By the time that he was half a mile from Igoe's stables he
had determined that, as the girl was gone it would be a pity to throw the
horses after her; he would finish this year on the turf; and then, if Fanny
Wyndham was still her own mistress after Christmas, he would again ask her
her mind. 'If she's a girl of spirit,' he said to himself 'and nobody knows
better than I do that she is, she won't like me the worse for having shown
that I'm not to be led by the nose by a pompous old fool like Lord Cashel,'
and he rode on, fortifying himself in this resolution, for the second half
mile. 'But what the deuce should he do about money?' There was only one
more half mile before he was again at Handicap Lodge. Guinness's people had
his title-deeds, and he knew he had twelve hundred a year after paying the
interest of the old incumbrances. They hadn't advanced him much since he
came of age; certainly not above five thousand pounds; and it surely was
very hard he could not get five or six hundred pounds when he wanted it so
much; it was very hard that he shouldn't be able to do what he liked with
his own, like the Duke of Newcastle. However, the money must be had: he
must pay Blake and Tierney the balance of what they had won at whist, and
the horse couldn't go over the water till the wind was raised. If he was
driven very hard he might get something from Martin Kelly. These unpleasant
cogitations brought him over the third half mile, and he rode through the
gate of Handicap Lodge in a desperate state of indecision.
'I'll tell you what I'll do, Dot,' he said, when he met his friend coming
in from his morning's work; 'and I'm deuced sorry to do it, for I shall be
giving you the best horse of his year, and something tells me he'll win the
'I suppose "something" means old Jack Igoe, or that blackguard Grady,' said
Dot. 'But as to his winning, that's as it may be. You know the chances are
sixteen to one he won't.'
'Upon my honour I don't think they are.'
'Will you take twelve to one?'
'Ah! youk now, Dot, I'm not now wanting to bet on the horse with you. I was
only saying that I've a kind of inward conviction that he will win.'
'My dear Frank,' said the other, 'if men selling horses could also sell
their inward convictions with them, what a lot of articles of that
description there would be in the market! But what were you going to say
'I'll tell you what I'll do: I'll agree to your terms providing you'll pay
half the expenses of the horses since the last race each of them ran. You
must see that would be only fair, supposing the horses belonged to you,
equally with me, ever since that time.'
'It would be quite fair, no doubt, if I agreed to it: it would be quite
fair also if I agreed to give you five hundred pounds; but I will do
neither one nor the other.'
'But look here, Dot Brien ran for the Autumn Produce Stakes last October,
and won them: since then he has done nothing to reimburse me for his
expense, nor yet has anything been taken out of him by running. Surely, if
you are to have half the profits, you should at any rate pay half the
'That's very well put, Frank; and if you and I stood upon equal ground,
with an arbiter between us by whose decision we were bound to abide, and to
whom the settlement of the question was entrusted, your arguments would, no
doubt, be successful, but '
'Well that's the fair way of looking at it.'
'But, as I was going to say, that's not the case. We are neither of us
bound to take any one's decision; and, therefore, any terms which either of
us chooses to accept must be fair. Now I have told you my terms the lowest
price, if you like to call it so at which I will give your horses the
benefit of my experience, and save you from their immediate pecuniary
pressure; and I will neither take any other terms, nor will I press these
'Why, Blake, I'd sooner deal with all the Jews of Israel '
'Stop, Frank: one word of abuse, and I'll wash my hands of the matter
'Wash away then, I'll keep the horses, though I have to sell my hunters and
the plate at Kelly's Court into the bargain.'
'I was going to add only your energy's far too great to allow of a slow
steady man like me finishing his sentence I was going to say that, if
you're pressed for money as you say, and if it will be any accommodation, I
will let you have two hundred and fifty pounds at five per cent. on the
security of the horses; that is, that you will be charged with that amount,
and the interest, in the final closing of the account at the end of the
year, before the horses are restored to you.'
Had an uninterested observer been standing by he might have seen with half
an eye that Blake's coolness was put on, and that his indifference to the
bargain was assumed. This offer of the loan was a second bid, when he found
the first was likely to be rejected: it was made, too, at the time that he
was positively declaring that he would make none but the first offer. Poor
Frank! he was utterly unable to cope with his friend at the weapons with
which they were playing, and he was consequently most egregiously
plundered. But it was in an affair of horse-flesh, and the sporting world,
when it learned the terms on which the horses were transferred from Lord
Ballindine's name to that of Mr Blake, had not a word of censure to utter
against the latter. He was pronounced to be very wide awake, and decidedly
at the top of his profession; and Lord Ballindine was spoken of, for a
week, with considerable pity and contempt.
When Blake mentioned the loan Frank got up, and stood with his back to the
fire; then bit his lips, and walked twice up and down the room, with his
hands in his pockets, and then he paused, looked out of the window, and
attempted to whistle: then he threw himself into an armchair, poked out
both his legs as far as he could, ran his fingers through his hair, and set
to work hard to make up his mind. But it was no good; in about five minutes
he found he could not do it; so he took out his purse, and, extracting
half-a-crown, threw it up to the ceiling, saying,
'Well, Dot head or harp? If you're right, you have them.'
'Harp,' cried Dot.
They both examined the coin. 'They're yours,' said Frank, with much
solemnity; 'and now you've got the best horse yes, I believe the very best
horse alive, for nothing.'
'Only half of him, Frank.'
'Well,' said Frank; 'it's done now, I suppose.'
'Oh, of course it is,' said Dot: 'I'll draw out the agreement, and give you
a cheque for the money to-night.'
And so he did; and Frank wrote a letter to Igoe, authorizing him to hand
over the horses to Mr Blake's groom, stating that he had sold them for so
ran his agreement with Dot and desiring that his bill for training, &c.,
might be forthwith forwarded to Kelly's Court. Poor Frank! he was ashamed
to go to take a last look at his dear favourites, and tell his own trainer
that he had sold his own horses.
The next morning saw him, with his servant, on the Ballinasloe coach,
travelling towards Kelly's Court; and, also, saw Brien Boru, Granuell, and
Finn M'Goul led across the downs, from Igoe's stables to Handicap Lodge.
The handsome sheets, hoods, and rollers, in which they had hitherto
appeared, and on which the initial B was alone conspicuous, were carefully
folded up, and they were henceforth seen in plainer, but as serviceable
apparel, labelled W. B.
'Will you give fourteen to one against Brien Boru?' said Viscount Avoca to
Lord Tathenham Corner, about ten days after this, at Tattersall's.
'I will,' said Lord Tathenham.
'In hundreds?' said the sharp Irishman.
'Very well,' said Lord Tathenham; and the bet was booked.
'You didn't know, I suppose,' said the successful viscount, 'that Dot Blake
has bought Brien Boru?
'And who the devil's Dot Blake?' said Lord Tathenham.
'Oh! you'll know before May's over,' said the viscount.
XVII MARTIN KELLY'S COURTSHIP
It will be remembered that the Tuam attorney, Daly, dined with Barry Lynch,
at Dunmore House, on the same evening that Martin Kelly reached home after
his Dublin excursion; and that, on that occasion, a good deal of
interesting conversation took place after dinner. Barry, however, was
hardly amenable to reason at that social hour, and it was not till the
following morning that he became thoroughly convinced that it would be
perfectly impossible for him to make his sister out a lunatic to the
satisfaction of the Chancellor.
He then agreed to abandon the idea, and, in lieu of it, to indict, or at
any rate to threaten to indict, the widow Kelly and her son for a
conspiracy, and an attempt to inveigle his sister Anty into a disgraceful
marriage, with the object of swindling her out of her property.
'I'll see Moylan, Mr Lynch,' said Daly; 'and if I can talk him over, I
think we might succeed in frightening the whole set of them, so far as to
prevent the marriage. Moylan must know that if your sister was to marry
young Kelly, there'd be an end to his agency; but we must promise him
something, Mr Lynch.'
'Yes; I suppose we must pay him, before we get anything out of him.'
'No, not before but he must understand that he will get something, if he
makes himself useful. You must let me explain to him that if the marriage
is prevented, you will make no objection to his continuing to act as Miss
Lynch's agent; and I might hint the possibility of his receiving the rents
on the whole property.'
'Hint what you like, Daly, but don't tie me down to the infernal ruffian. I
suppose we can throw him overboard afterwards, can't we?'
'Why, not altogether, Mr Lynch. If I make him a definite promise, I shall
expect you to keep to it.'
'Confound him! but tell me, Daly; what is it he's to do? and what is it
we're to do?'
'Why, Mr Lynch, it's more than probable, I think, that this plan of Martin
Kelly's marrying your sisther may have been talked over between the ould
woman, Moylan, and the young man; and if so, that's something like a
conspiracy. If I could worm that out of him, I think I'd manage to frighten
'And what the deuce had I better do? You see, there was a bit of a row
between us. That is, Anty got frightened when I spoke to her of this
rascal, and then she left the house. Couldn't you make her understand that
she'd be all right if she'd come to the house again?'
While Barry Lynch had been sleeping off the effects of the punch, Daly had
been inquiring into the circumstances under which Anty had left the house,
and he had pretty nearly learned the truth; he knew, therefore, how much
belief to give to his client's representation.
'I don't think,' said he, 'that your sister will be likely to come back at
present; she will probably find herself quieter and easier at the inn. You
see, she has been used to a quiet life.'
'But, if she remains there, she can marry that young ruffian any moment she
takes it into her head to do so. There's always some rogue of a priest
ready to do a job of that sort.'
'Exactly so, Mr Lynch. Of course your sister can marry whom she pleases,
and when she pleases, and neither you nor any one else can prevent her; but
'Then what the devil's the use of my paying you to come here and tell me
'That's your affair: I didn't come without being sent for. But I was going
to tell you that, though we can't prevent her from marrying if she pleases,
we may make her afraid to do so. You had better write her a kind,
affectionate note, regretting what has taken place between you, and
promising to give her no molestation of any kind, if she will return to her
own house and keep a copy of this letter. Then I will see Moylan; and, if I
can do anything with him, it will be necessary that you should also see
him. You could come over to Tuam, and meet him in my office; and then I
will try and force an entrance into the widow's castle, and, if possible,
see your sister, and humbug the ould woman into a belief that she has laid
herself open to criminal indictment.. We might even go so far as to have
notices served on them; but, if they snap their fingers at us, we can do
nothing further. My advice in that case would be, that you should make the
best terms in your power with Martin Kelly.'
'And let the whole thing go! I'd sooner Why, Daly, I believe you're as bad
as Blake! You're afraid of these huxtering thieves!'
'If you go on in that way, Mr Lynch, you'll get no professional gentleman
to act with you. I give you my best advice; it you don't like it, you
needn't follow it; but you won't get a solicitor in Connaught to do better
for you than what I'm proposing.'
'Confusion!' muttered Barry, and he struck the hot turf in the grate a
desperate blow with the tongs which he had in his hands, and sent the
sparks and bits of fire flying about the hearth.
'The truth is, you see, your sister's in her full senses; there's the divil
a doubt of that; the money's her own, and she can marry whom she pleases.
All that we can do is to try and make the Kellys think they have got into a
'But this letter What on earth am I to say to her?'
'I'll just put down what I would say, were I you; and if you like you can
copy it.' Daly then wrote the following letter
'My Dear Anty,
Before taking other steps, which could not fail of being very disagreeable
to you and to others, I wish to point out to you how injudiciously you are
acting in leaving your own house; and to try to induce you to do that which
will be most beneficial to yourself, and most conducive to your happiness
and respectability. If you will return to Dunmore House, I most solemnly
promise to leave you unmolested. I much regret that my violence on Thursday
should have annoyed you, but I can assure you it was attributable merely to
my anxiety on your account. Nothing, however, shall induce me to repeat it.
But you must be aware that a little inn is not a fit place for you to be
stopping at; and I am obliged to tell you that I have conclusive evidence
of a conspiracy having been formed, by the family with whom you are
staying, to get possession of your money; and that this conspiracy was
entered into very shortly after the contents of my father's will had been
made public. I must have this fact proved at the Assizes, and the
disreputable parties to it punished, unless you will consent, at any rate
for a time, to put yourself under the protection of your brother.
'In the meantime pray believe me, dear Anty, in spite of appearances,
'Your affectionate brother,
It was then agreed that this letter should be copied and signed by Barry,
and delivered by Terry on the following morning, which was Sunday. Daly
then returned to Tuam, with no warm admiration for his client.
In the meantime the excitement at the inn, arising from Anty's arrival and
Martin's return, was gradually subsiding. These two important events, both
happening on the same day, sadly upset the domestic economy of Mrs Kelly's
establishment. Sally had indulged in tea almost to stupefaction, and
Kattie's elfin locks became more than ordinarily disordered. On the
following morning, however, things seemed to fall, a little more into their
places: the widow was, as usual, behind her counter; and if her girls did
not give her as much assistance as she desired of them, and as much as was
usual with them, they were perhaps excusable, for they could not well leave
their new guest alone on the day after her coming to them.
Martin went out early to Toneroe; doubtless the necessary labours of the
incipient spring required him at the farm but I believe that if his motives
were analysed, he hardly felt himself up to a tête-à-tête with his
mistress, before he had enjoyed a cool day's consideration of the
extraordinary circumstances which had brought her into the inn as his
mother's guest. He, moreover, wished to have a little undisturbed
conversation with Meg, and to learn from her how Anty might be inclined
towards him just at present. So Martin spent his morning among his lambs
and his ploughs; and was walking home, towards dusk, tired enough, when he
met Barry Lynch, on horseback, that hero having come out, as usual, for his
solitary ride, to indulge in useless dreams of the happy times he w0uld
have, were his sister only removed from her tribulations in this world.
Though Martin had never been on friendly terms with his more ambitious
neighbour, there had never, up to this time, been any quarrel between them,
and he therefore just muttered 'Good morning, Mr Lynch,' as he passed him
on the road.
Barry said nothing, and did not appear to see him as he passed; but. some
idea struck him as soon as he had passed, and he pulled in his horse and
hallooed out 'Kelly!' and, as Martin stopped, he added, 'Come here a
moment I want to speak to you.'
'Well, Mr Barry, what is it?' said the other, returning. Lynch paused, and
evidently did not know whether to speak or let it alone. At last he said,
'Never mind I'll get somebody else to say what I was going to say. But
you'd better look sharp what you're about, my lad, or you'll find yourself
in a scrape that you don't dream of.'
'And is that all you called me back for?' said Martin.
'That's all I mean to say to you at present.'
'Well then, Mr Lynch, I must say you're very good, and I'm shure I will
look sharp enough. But, to my thinking, d'you know, you want looking afther
yourself a precious dale more than I do,' and then he turned to proceed
homewards, but said, as he was going 'Have you any message for your
sisther, Mr Lynch?'
'By ! my young man, I'll make you pay for what you're doing,' answered
'I know you'll be glad to hear she's pretty well: she's coming round from
the thratement she got the other night; though, by all accounts, it's a
wondher she's alive this moment to tell of it.'
Barry did not attempt any further reply, but rode on, sorry enough that he
had commenced the conversation. Martin got home in time for a snug tea with
Anty and his sisters, and succeeded in prevailing on the three to take
each. a glass of punch; and, before Anty went to bed he began to find
himself more at his ease with her, and able to call her by her Christian
name without any disagreeable emotion. He certainly had a most able
coadjutor in Meg. She made room on the sofa for him between herself and his
mistress, and then contrived that the room should be barely sufficient, so
that Anty was rather closely hemmed up in one corner: moreover, she made
Anty give her opinion as to Martin's looks after his metropolitan
excursion, and tried hard to make Martin pay some compliments to Anty's
appearance. But in this she failed, although she gave him numerous
However, they passed. the evening very comfortably quite sufficiently so to
make Anty feel that the kindly, humble friendship of the inn was infinitely
preferable to the. miserable grandeur of Dunmore House; and it is probable
that all the lovemaking in the world would not have operated so strongly in
Martin's favour as this feeling. Meg, however, was not satisfied, for as
soon as she had seen Jane and Anty into the bedroom she returned to her
brother, and lectured him as to his lukewarm manifestations of affection.
'Martin,' said she, returning into the little sitting-room, and carefully
shutting the door after her, 'you're the biggest bosthoon of a gandher I
ever see, to be losing your opportunities with Anty this way! I b'lieve
it's waiting you are for herself to come forward to you. Do you think a
young woman don't expect something more from a lover than jist for you to
sit by her, and go on all as one as though she was one of your own
sisthers? Av' once she gets out of this before the priest has made one of
the two of you, mind, I tell you, it'll be all up with you. I wondher,
Martin, you haven't got more pluck in you!'
'Oh! bother, Meg. You're thinking of nothing but kissing and
slobbhering. Anty's not the same as you and Jane, and doesn't be all agog
for such nonsense!'
'I tell you, Martin, Anty's a woman; and, take my word for it, what another
girl likes won't come amiss to her. Besides, why don't you spake to her?'
'Spake? why, what would you have me spake?'
'Well, Martin, you're a fool. Have you, or have you not, made up your mind
to marry Anty?'
'To be shure I will, av' she'll have me.'
'And do you expect her to have you without asking?'
'Shure, you know, didn't I ask her often enough?'
'Ah, but you must do more than jist ask her that way. She'll never make up
her mind to go before the priest, unless you say something sthronger to
her. Jist tell her, plump out, you're ready and willing, and get the thing
done before Lent. What's to hindher you? shure, you know,' she added, in a
whisper, 'you'll not get sich a fortune as Anty's in your way every day.
Spake out, man, and don't be afraid of her: take my word she won't like you
a bit the worse for a few kisses.'
Martin promised to comply with his sister's advice, and to sound Anty
touching their marriage on the following morning after mass.
On the Sunday morning, at breakfast, the widow proposed to Anty that she
should go to mass with herself and her daughters; but Anty trembled so
violently at the idea of showing herself in public, after her escape from
Dunmore House, that the widow did not press her to do so, although
afterwards she expressed her disapprobation of Anty's conduct to her own
'I don't see what she has to be afeard of,' said she, 'in going to get mass
from her own clergyman in her own chapel. She don't think, I suppose, that
Barry Lynch'd dare come in there to pull her out; before the blessed altar,
glory be to God.'
'Ah but, mother, you know, she has been so frighted.'
'Frighted, indeed! She'll get over these tantrums, I hope, before Sunday
next, or I know where I'll wish her again.'
So Anty was left at home, and the rest of the family went to mass. When the
women returned, Meg manoeuvred greatly, and, in fine, successfully, that no
one should enter the little parlour to interrupt the wooing she intended
should take place there. She had no difficulty with Jane, for she told her
what her plans were; and though her less energetic sister did not quite
agree in the wisdom of her designs, and pronounced an opinion that it would
be 'better to let things settle down a bit,' still she did not presume to
run counter to Meg's views; but Meg had some work to dispose of her mother.
It would not have answered at all, as Meg had very well learned herself, to
caution her mother not to interrupt Martin in his love-making, for the
widow had no charity for such follies. She certainly expected her daughters
to get married, and wished them to be well and speedily settled; but she
watched anything like a flirtation on their part as closely as a cat does a
mouse. If any young man ere in the house, she'd listen to the fall of his
footsteps with the utmost care; and when she had reason to fear that there
was anything like a lengthened tête-à-tête upstairs, she would steal on the
pair, if possible, unawares, and interrupt, without the least reserve, any
billing and cooing which might be going on, sending the delinquent daughter
to her work, and giving a glower at the swain, which she expected might be
sufficient to deter him from similar offences for some little time.
The girls, consequently, were taught to be on the alert to steal about on
tiptoe, to elude their mother's watchful ear, to have recourse to a
thousand little methods of deceiving her, and to baffle her with her own
weapons. The mother, if she suspected that any prohibited frolic was likely
to be carried on, at a late hour, would tell her daughters that she was
going to bed, and would shut herself up for a couple of hours in her
bedroom, and then steal out eavesdropping, peeping through key-holes and
listening at door-handles; and the daughters, knowing their mother's
practice, would not come forth till the listening and peeping had been
completed, and till they had ascertained, by some infallible means, that
the old woman was between the sheets.
Each party knew the tricks of the other; and yet, taking it all in all, the
widow got on very well with her children, and everybody said what a good
mother she had been: she was accustomed to use deceit, and was therefore
not disgusted by it in others. Whether the system of domestic manners which
I have described is one likely to induce to sound restraint and good morals
is a question which I will leave to be discussed by writers on educational
However Meg managed it, she did contrive that her mother should not go near
the little parlour this Sunday morning, and Anty was left alone, to receive
her. lover's visit. I regret to say that he was long in paying it. He
loitered about the chapel gates before he came home; and seemed more than
usually willing to talk to anyone about anything. At last, however, just as
Meg was getting furious, he entered the inn.
'Why, Martin, you born ideot av' she ain't waiting for you this hour and
'Thim that's long waited for is always welcome when they do come,' replied
'Well afther all I've done for you! Are you going in now? cause, av' you
don't, I'll go and tell her not to be tasing herself about you. I'll
neither be art or part in any such schaming.'
'Schaming, is it, Meg? Faith, it'd be a clever fellow'd beat you at that,'
and, without waiting for his sister's sharp reply, he walked into the
little room where Anty was sitting.
'So, Anty, you wouldn't come to mass?' he began.
'Maybe I'll go next Sunday,' said she.
'It's a long time since you missed mass before, I'm thinking.'
'Not since the Sunday afther father's death.'
'It's little you were thinking then how soon you'd be stopping down here
with us at the inn.'
'That's thrue for you, Martin, God knows.' At this point of the
conversation Martin stuck fast: he did not know Rosalind's recipe for the
difficulty a man feels, when lie finds himself gravelled for conversation
with his mistress; so he merely scratched his head, and thought hard to
find what he'd say next. I doubt whether the conviction, which was then
strong on his mind, that Meg was listening at the keyhole to every word
that passed, at all assisted him in the operation. At last, some Muse came
to his aid, and he made out another sentence.
'It was very odd my finding you down here, all ready before me, wasn't it?'
' 'Deed it was: your mother was a very good woman to me that morning,
'And tell me now, Anty, do you like the inn?'
' 'Deed I do but it's quare, like.'
'Why, having Meg and Jane here: I wasn't ever used to anyone to talk to,
only just the servants.'
'You'll have plenty always to talk to now eh, Anty?' and Martin tried a
sweet look at his lady love.
'I'm shure I don't know. Av' I'm only left quiet, that's what I most care
'But, Anty, tell me you don't want always to be what you call quiet?'
'Oh! but I do why not?'
'But you don't mane, Anty, that you wouldn't like to have some kind of work
to do some occupation, like?'
'Why, I wouldn't like to be idle; but a person needn't be idle because
'And that's thrue, Anty.' And Martin broke down again.
'There'd be a great crowd in chapel, I suppose?' said Anty.
'There was a great crowd.'
'And what was father Geoghegan preaching about?'
'Well, then, I didn't mind. To tell the truth, Anty, I came out most as
soon as the preaching began; only I know he told the boys to pray that the
liberathor might be got out of his throubles; and so they should not that
there's much to throuble him, as far as the verdict's concerned.'
'Isn't there then? I thought they made him out guilty?'
'So they did, the false ruffians: but what harum'll that do? they daren't
touch a hair of his head!'
Politics, however, are riot a favourable introduction to love-making: so
Martin felt, and again gave up the subject, in the hopes that he might find
something better. 'What a fool the man is!' thought Meg to herself, at the
door 'if I had a lover went on like that, wouldn't I pull his ears!'
Martin got up walked across the room looked out of the little window felt
very much ashamed of himself, and, returning, sat himself down on the sofa.
'Anty,' he said, at last, blushing nearly brown as he spoke; 'Were you
thinking of what I was spaking to you about before I went to Dublin?'
Anty blushed also, now. 'About what?' she said.
'Why, just about you and me making a match of it. Come, Anty, dear, what's
the good of losing time? I've been thinking of little else; and, after
what's been between us, you must have thought the matther over too, though
you do let on to be so innocent. Come, Anty, now that you and mother's so
thick, there can be nothing against it.'
'But indeed there is, Martin, a great dale against it though I'm sure it's
good of you to be thinking of me. There's so much against it, I think we
had betther be of one mind, and give it over at once.'
'And what's to hinder us marrying, Anty, av' yourself is plazed? Av' you
and I, and mother are plazed, sorrow a one that I know of has a word to say
in the matther.'
'But Barry don't like it!'
'And, afther all, are you going to wait for what Barry likes? You didn't
wait for what was plazing to Barry Lynch when you came down here; nor I yet
did mother when she went up and fetched you down at five in the morning,
dreading he'd murdher you outright. And it was thrue for her, for he would,
av' he was let, the brute. And are you going to wait for what he likes?'
'Whatever he's done, he's my brother; and there's only the two of us.'
'But it's not that, Anty don't you know it's not that? Isn't it because
you're afraid of him? because he threatened and frightened you? And what on
'arth could he do to harum you av' you was the wife of of a man who'd,
anyway, not let Barry Lynch, or anyone else, come between you and your
comfort and aise?'
'But you don't know how wretched I've been since he spoke to me about about
getting myself married: you don't know what I've suffered; and I've a
feeling that good would never come of it.'
'And, afther all, are you going to tell me now, that I may jist go my own
way? Is that to be your answer, and all I'm to get from you?'
'Don't be angry with me, Martin. I'm maning to do everything for the best.'
'Maning? what's the good of maning? Anyways, Anty, let me have an answer,
for I'll not be making a fool of myself any longer. Somehow, all the boys
here, every sowl in Dunmore, has it that you and I is to be married and
now, afther promising me as you did '
'Oh, I never promised, Martin.'
'It was all one as a promise and now I'm to be thrown overboard. And
why? because Barry Lynch got dhrunk, and frightened you. Av' I'd seen the
ruffian striking you, I think I'd 've been near putting it beyond him to
strike another woman iver again.'
'Glory be to God that you wasn't near him that night,' said Anty, crossing
herself. 'It was bad enough, but av' the two of you should ever be set
fighting along of me, it would kill me outright.'
'But who's talking of fighting, Anty, dear?' and Martin drew a little
nearer to her ' who's talking of fighting? I never wish to spake another
word to Barry the longest day that ever comes. Av' he'll get out of my way,
I'll go bail he'll not find me in his.'
'But he wouldn't get out of your way, nor get out of mine, av' you and I
got married: he'd be in our way, and we'd be in his, and nothing could iver
come of it but sorrow and misery, and maybe bloodshed.'
'Them's all a woman's fears. Av' you an I were once spliced by the priest,
God bless him, Barry wouldn't trouble Dunmore long afther.'
'That's another rason, too. Why should I be dhriving him out of his own
house? you know he's a right to the house, as well as I.'
'Who's talking of dhriving him out? Faith, he'd be welcome to stay there
long enough for me! He'd go, fast enough, without dhriving, though; you
can't say the counthry wouldn't have a good riddhance of him. But never
mind that, Anty: it wasn't about Barry, one way or the other, I was
thinking, when I first asked you to have me; nor it wasn't about myself
altogether, as I could let you know; though, in course, I'm not saying but
that myself's as dear to myself as another, an' why not? But to tell the
blessed truth, I was thinking av' you too; and that you'd be happier and
asier, let alone betther an' more respecthable, as an honest man's wife, as
I'd make you, than being mewed up there in dread of your life, never daring
to open your mouth to a Christian, for fear of your own brother, who niver
did, nor niver will lift a hand to sarve you, though he wasn't backward to
lift it to sthrike you, woman and sisther though you were. Come, Anty,
darlin,' he added, after a pause, during which he managed to get his arm
behind her back, though he couldn't be said to have it fairly round her
waist 'Get quit of all these quandaries, and say at once, like an honest
girl, you'll do what I'm asking and what no living man can hindher you from
or say against it. Or else jist fairly say you won't, and I'll have done
Anty sat silent, for she didn't like to say she wouldn't; and she thought
of her brother's threats, and was afraid to say she would. Martin advanced
a little in his proceedings, however, and now succeeded in getting his arm
round her waist and, having done so, he wasn't slow in letting her feel its
pressure. She made an attempt, with her hand, to disengage
herself certainly not a successful, and, probably, not a very energetic
attempt, when the widow's step was heard on the stairs. Martin retreated
from his position on the sofa, and Meg from hers outside the door, and Mrs
Kelly entered the room, with Barry's letter in her hand, Meg following, to
ascertain the cause of the unfortunate interruption.
XVIII AN ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN CONNAUGHT
'Anty, here's a letter for ye,' began the widow. 'Terry's brought it down
from the house, and says it's from Misther Barry. I b'lieve he was in the
right not to bring it hisself.'
'A letther for me, Mrs Kelly? what can he be writing about? I don't just
know whether I ought to open it or no;' and Anty trembled, as she turned
the epistle over and over again in her hands.
'What for would you not open it? The letther can't hurt you, girl, whatever
the writher might do.'
Thus encouraged, Anty broke the seal, and made herself acquainted with the
contents of the letter which Daly had dictated; but she then found, that
her difficulties had only just commenced. Was she to send an answer, and if
so, what answer? And if she sent none, what notice ought she to take of it?
The matter was one evidently too weighty to be settled by her own judgment,
so she handed the letter to be read, first by the widow, and then by
Martin, and lastly by the two girls, who, by this time, were both in the
'Well, the dethermined impudence of that blackguard!' exclaimed Mrs Kelly.
'Conspiracy! av' that don't bang Banagher! What does the man mean by
"conspiracy," eh, Martin?'
'Faith, you must ask himself that, mother; and then it's ten to one he
can't tell you.'
'I suppose,' said Meg, 'he wants to say that we're all schaming to rob Anty
of her money only he daren't, for the life of him, spake it out straight
'Or, maybe,' suggested Jane, 'he wants to bring something agen us like this
affair of O'Connell's only he'll find, down here, that he an't got Dublin
soft goods to deal wid.'
Then followed a consultation, as to the proper steps to be taken in the
The widow advised that father Geoghegan should be sent for to indite such a
reply as a Christian ill-used woman should send to so base a letter. Meg,
who was very hot on the subject, and who had read-of some such proceeding
in a novel, was for putting up in a blank envelope the letter itself, and
returning it to Barry by the hands of Jack, the ostler; at the same time,
she declared that 'No surrender' should be her motto. Jane was of opinion
that 'Miss Anastasia Lynch's compliments to Mr Barry Lynch, and she didn't
find herself strong enough to move to Dunmore House at present,' would
answer all purposes, and be, on the whole, the safest course. While Martin
pronounced that 'if Anty would be led by him, she'd just pitch the letter
behind the fire an' take no notice of it, good, bad, or indifferent.'
None of these plans pleased Anty, for, as she remarked, 'After all, Barry
was her brother, and blood was thickher than wather.' So, after much
consultation, pen, ink, and paper were procured, and the following letter
was concocted between them, all the soft bits having been great stumbling-
blocks, in which, however, Anty's quiet perseverance carried the point, in
opposition to the wishes of all the Kellys. The words put in brackets were
those peculiarly objected to.
Dunmore Inn. February, l844.
I (am very sorry I) can't come back to the house, at any rate just at
present. I am not very sthrong in health, and there are kind female friends
about me here, which you know there couldn't be up at the house.' Anty
herself, in the original draft inserted 'ladies,' but the widow's good
sense repudiated the term, and insisted on the word 'females': Jane
suggested that 'females' did not sound quite respectful. alone, and Martin
thought that Anty might call them 'female friends,' which was consequently
done. 'Besides, there are reasons why I'm quieter here, till things are a
little more settled. I will forgive (and forget) all that happened up at
the house between us' 'Why, you can't forget it,' said Meg. 'Oh, I could,
av' he was kind to me. I'd forget it all in a week av' he was kind to me,'
answered Anty '(and I will do nothing particular without first letting you
know).' They were all loud against this paragraph, but they could not carry
their point. 'I must tell you, dear Barry, that you are very much mistaken
about the people of this house: they are dear, kind friends to me, and,
wherever I am, I must love them to the last day of my life but indeed I am,
and hope you believe so,
Your affectionate sister,
When the last paragraph was read over Anty's shoulder, Meg declared she was
a dear, dear creature: Jane gave her a big kiss, and began crying; even the
widow put the corner of her apron to her eye, and Martin, trying to look
manly and unconcerned, declared that he was 'quite shure they all loved
her, and they'd be brutes and bastes av' they didn't!'
The letter, as given above, was finally decided on; written, sealed, and
despatched by Jack, who was desired to be very particular to deliver it at
the front door, with Miss Lynch's love, which was accordingly done. All the
care, however, which had been bestowed on it did not make it palatable to
Barry, who was alone when he received it, and merely muttered, as he read
it, 'Confound her, low-minded slut! friends, indeed! what business has she
with friends, except such as I please? if I'd the choosing of her friends,
they'd be a strait waistcoat, and the madhouse doctor. Good Heaven! that
half my property no, but two-thirds of it should belong to her I the
stupid, stiff-necked robber!'
These last pleasant epithets had reference to his respected progenitor.
On the same evening, after tea, Martin endeavoured to make a little further
advance with Anty, for he felt that he had been interrupted just as she was
coming round; but her nerves were again disordered, and he soon found that
if he pressed her now, he should only get a decided negative, which he
might find it very difficult to induce her to revoke.
Anty's letter was sent off early on the Monday morning at least, as early
as Barry now ever managed to do anything to the attorney at Tuam, with
strong injunctions that no time was to be lost in taking further steps, and
with a request that Daly would again come out to Dunmore. This, however, he
did not at present think it expedient to do. So he wrote to Barry, begging
him to come into Tuam on the Wednesday, to meet Moylan, whom he, Daly,
would, if possible, contrive to see on the intervening day.
'Obstinate puppy!' said Barry to himself 'if he'd had the least pluck in
life he'd have broken the will, or at least made the girl out a lunatic.
But a Connaught lawyer hasn't half the wit or courage now that he used to
have.' However, he wrote a note to Daly, agreeing to his proposal, and
promising to be in Tuam at two o'clock on the Wednesday.
On the following day Daly saw Moylan, and had a long conversation with him.
The old man held out for a long time, expressing much indignation at being
supposed capable of joining in any underhand agreement for transferring
Miss Lynch's property to his relatives the Kellys, and declaring that he
would make public to every one in Dunmore and Tuam the base manner in which
Barry Lynch was treating his sister. Indeed, Moylan kept to his story so
long and so firmly that the young attorney was nearly giving him up; but at
last he found his weak side.
'Well, Mr Moylan,' he said, 'then I can only say your own conduct is very
disinterested and I might even go so far as to say that you appear to me
foolishly indifferent to your own concerns. Here's the agency of the whole
property going a-begging: the rents, I believe, are about a thousand a-
year: you might be recaving them all by jist a word of your mouth, and that
only telling the blessed truth; and here, you're going to put the whole
thing into the hands of young Kelly; throwing up even the half of the
business you have got!'
'Who says I'm afther doing any sich thing, Mr Daly?'
'Why, Martin Kelly says so. Didn't as many as four or five persons hear him
say, down at Dunmore, that divil a one of the tenants'd iver pay a haporth
of the November rents to anyone only jist to himself? There was father
Geoghegan heard him, an Doctor Ned Blake.'
'Maybe he'll find his mistake, Mr Daly.'
'Maybe he will, Mr Moylan. Maybe we'll put the whole affair into the
courts, and have a regular recaver over the property, under the Chancellor.
People, though they're ever so respectable in their way and I don't mane to
say a word against the Kellys, Mr Moylan, for they were always friends of
mine but people can't be allowed to make a dead set at a property like
this, and have it all their own way, like the bull in the china-shop. I
know there has been an agreement made, and that, in the eye of the law, is
a conspiracy. I positively know that an agreement has been made to induce
Miss Lynch to become Martin Kelly's wife; and I know the parties to it,
too; and I also know that an active young fellow like him wouldn't be
paying an agent to get in his rents; and I thought, if Mr Lynch was willing
to appoint you his agent, as well as his sister's, it might be worth your
while to lend us a hand to settle this affair, without forcing us to stick
people into a witness-box whom neither I nor Mr Lynch '
'But what the devil can I '
'Jist hear me out, Mr Moylan; you see, if they once knew the Kellys I
mane that you wouldn't lend a hand to this piece of iniquity '
'Which piece of iniquity, Mr Daly? for I'm entirely bothered.'
'Ah, now, Mr Moylan, none of your fun: this piece of iniquity of theirs, I
say; for I can call it no less. If they once knew that you wouldn't help
'em, they'd be obliged to drop it all; the matter'd never have to go into
court at all, and you'd jist step into the agency fair and aisy; and, into
the bargain, you'd do nothing but an honest man's work.'
The old man broke down, and consented to 'go agin the Kellys,' as he
somewhat ambiguously styled his apostasy, provided the agency was
absolutely promised to him; and he went away with the understanding that he
was to come on the following day and meet Mr Lynch.
At two o'clock, punctual to the time of his appointment, Moylan was there,
and was kept waiting an hour in Daly's little parlour. At the end of this
time Barry came in, having invigorated his courage and spirits with a
couple of glasses of brandy. Daly had been for some time on the look-out
for him, for he wished to say a few words to him in private, and give him
his cue before lie took him into the room where Moylan was sitting. This
could not well be done in the office, for it was crowded. It would, I
think, astonish a London attorney in respectable practice, to see the
manner in which his brethren towards the west of Ireland get through their
work. Daly's office was open to all the world; the front door of the house,
of which he rented the ground floor, was never closed, except at night; nor
was the door of the office, which opened immediately into the hail.
During the hour that Moylan was waiting in the parlour, Daly was sitting,
with his hat on, upon a high stool, with his feet resting on a small
counter which ran across the room, smoking a pipe: a boy, about seventeen
years of age, Daly's clerk, was filling up numbers of those abominable
formulas of legal persecution in which attorneys deal, and was plying his
trade as steadily as though no February blasts were blowing in on him
through the open door, no sounds of loud and boisterous conversation were
rattling in his ears. The dashing manager of one of the branch banks in the
town was sitting close to the little stove, and raking out the turf ashes
with the office rule, while describing a drinking-bout that had taken place
on the previous Sunday at Blake's of Blakemount; he had a cigar in his
mouth, and was searching for a piece of well-kindled turf, wherewith to
light it. A little fat oily shopkeeper in the town, who called himself a
woollen merchant, was standing with the raised leaf of the counter in his
hand, roaring with laughter at the manager's story. Two frieze coated
farmers, outside the counter, were stretching across it, and whispering
very audibly to Daly some details of litigation which did not appear very
much to interest him; and a couple of idle blackguards were leaning against
the wall, ready to obey any behest of the attorney's which might enable
them to earn a sixpence without labour, and listening with all their, ears
to the different interesting topics of conversation which might be broached
in the inner office.
'Here's the very man I'm waiting for, at last,' said Daly, when, from his
position on the stool, he saw, through the two open doors, the bloated red
face of Barry Lynch approaching; and, giving an impulse to his body by a
shove against the wall behind him, he raised himself on to the counter,
and, assisting himself by a pull at the collar of the frieze coat of the
farmer who was in the middle of his story, jumped to the ground, and met
his client at the front door.
'I beg your pardon, Mr Lynch,' said he as soon as he had shaken hands with
him, 'but will you just step up to my room a minute, for I want to spake to
you;' and he took him up into his bed-room, for he hadn't a second sitting-
room. 'You'll excuse my bringing you up here, for the office was full, you
see, and Moylan's in the parlour.'
'The d----l he is! He came round then, did he, eh, Daly?'
'Oh, I've had a terrible hard game to play with him. I'd no idea he'd be so
tough a customer, or make such a good fight; but I think I've managed him.'
'There was a regular plan then, eh, Daly? Just as I said. It was a regular
planned scheme among them?'
'Wait a moment, and you'll know all about it, at least as much as I know
myself; and, to tell the truth, that's devilish little. But, if we manage
to break off the match, and get your sister clane out of the inn there, you
must give Moylan your agency, at any rate for two or three years.'
'You haven't promised that?'
'But I have, though. We can do nothing without it: it was only when I
hinted that, that the old sinner came round.'
'But what the deuce is it he's to do for us, after all?'
'He's to allow us to put him forward as a bugbear, to frighten the Kellys
with: that's all, and, if we can manage that, that's enough. But come down
now. I only wanted to warn you that, if you think the agency is too high a
price to pay for the man's services, whatever they may be, you must make up
your mind to dispense with them.'
'Well,' answered Barry, as he followed the attorney downstairs, 'I can't
understand what you're about; but I suppose you must be right;' and they
went into the little parlour where Moylan was sitting.
Moylan and Barry Lynch had only met once, since the former had been
entrusted to receive Anty's rents, on which occasion Moylan had been
grossly insulted by her brother. Barry, remembering the meeting, felt very
awkward at the idea of entering into amicable conversation with him, and
crept in at the door like a whipped dog. Moylan was too old to feel any
such compunctions, and consequently made what he intended to be taken as a
very complaisant bow to his future patron. He was an ill-made, ugly, stumpy
man, about fifty; with a blotched face, straggling sandy hair, and grey
shaggy whiskers. He wore a long brown great coat, buttoned up to his chin,
and this was the only article of wearing apparel visible upon him: in his
hands he twirled a shining new four-and-fourpenny hat.
As soon as their mutual salutations were over, Daly commenced his business.
'There is no doubt in the world, Mr Lynch,' said he, addressing Barry,
'that a most unfair attempt has been made by this family to get possession
of your sister's property a most shameful attempt, which the law will no
doubt recognise as a misdemeanour. But I think we shall be able to stop
their game without any law at all, which will save us the annoyance of
putting Mr Moylan here, and other respectable witnesses, on the table. Mr
Moylan says that very soon afther your father's will was made known '
'Now, Mr Daly shure I niver said a word in life at all about the will,'
said Moylan, interrupting him.
'No, you did not: I mane, very soon afther you got the agency '
'Divil a word I said about the agency, either.'
'Well, well; some time ago he says that, some time ago, he and Martin Kelly
were talking over your sister's affairs; I believe the widow was there,
'Ah, now, Mr Daly why'd you be putting them words into my mouth? sorrow a
word of the kind I iver utthered at all.'
'What the deuce was it you did say, then?'
'Faix, I don't know that I said much, at all.'
'Didn't you say, Mr Moylan, that Martin Kelly was talking to you about
marrying Anty, some six weeks ago?'
'Maybe I did; he was spaking about it.'
'And, if you were in the chair now, before a jury, wouldn't you swear that
there was a schame among them to get Anty Lynch married to Martin Kelly?
Come, Mr Moylan, that's all we want to know: if you can't say as much as
that for us now, just that we may let the Kellys know what sort of evidence
we could bring against them, if they push us, we must only have you and
others summoned, and see what you'll have to say then.'
'Oh, I'd say the truth, Mr Daly divil a less and I'd do as much as that
now; but I thought Mr Lynch was wanting to say something about the
'Not a word then I've to say about it,' said Barry, 'except that I won't
let that robber, young Kelly, walk off with it, as long as there's law in