The Kellys and the O'Kellys
Part 2 out of 10
than the cook herself. It is usually a temple dedicated to the goddess
of disorder; and, too often joined with her, is the potent deity of
dirt. It is not that things are out of their place, for they have no
place. It isn't that the floor is not scoured, for you cannot scour dry
mud into anything but wet mud. It isn't that the chairs and tables look
filthy, for there are none. It isn't that the pots, and plates, and
pans don't shine, for you see none to shine. All you see is a grimy,
black ceiling, an uneven clay floor, a small darkened window, one or
two unearthly-looking recesses, a heap of potatoes in the corner, a
pile of turf against the wall, two pigs and a dog under the single
dresser, three or four chickens on the window-sill, an old cock
moaning on the top of a rickety press, and a crowd of ragged garments,
squatting, standing, kneeling, and crouching, round the fire, from
which issues a babel of strange tongues, not one word of which is at
first intelligible to ears unaccustomed to such eloquence.
And yet, out of these unfathomable, unintelligible dens, proceed in due
time dinners, of which the appearance of them gives no promise. Such a
kitchen was Mrs. Kelly's; and yet, it was well known and attested by
those who had often tried the experiment, that a man need think it no
misfortune to have to get his dinner, his punch, and his bed, at the
Above stairs were two sitting-rooms and a colony of bed-rooms, occupied
indiscriminately by the family, or by such customers as might require
them. If you came back to dine at the inn, after a day's shooting on
the bogs, you would probably find Miss Jane's work-box on the table, or
Miss Meg's album on the sofa; and, when a little accustomed to sojourn
at such places, you would feel no surprise at discovering their
dresses turned inside out, and hanging on the pegs in your bed-room;
or at seeing their side-combs and black pins in the drawer of your
On the morning in question, the widow and her daughters were engaged
in the shop, putting up pen'norths of sugar, cutting bits of tobacco,
tying bundles of dip candles, attending to chance customers, and
preparing for the more busy hours of the day. It was evident that
something had occurred at the inn, which had ruffled the even tenor of
its way. The widow was peculiarly gloomy. Though fond of her children,
she was an autocrat in her house, and accustomed, as autocrats usually
are, to scold a good deal; and now she was using her tongue pretty
freely. It wasn't the girls, however, she was rating, for they could
answer for themselves;--and did, when they thought it necessary. But
now, they were demure, conscious, and quiet. Mrs. Kelly was denouncing
one of the reputed sins of the province to which she belonged, and
describing the horrors of "schaming."
"Them underhand ways," she declared, "niver come to no good. Av' it's
thrue what Father Connel's afther telling me, there'll harum come of
it before it's done and over. Schaming, schaming, and schaming for
iver! The back of my hand to such doings! I wish the tongue had been
out of Moylan's mouth, the ould rogue, before he put the thing in his
head. Av' he wanted the young woman, and she was willing, why not
take her in a dacent way, and have done with it. I'm sure she's ould
enough. But what does he want with a wife like her?--making innimies
for himself. I suppose he'll be sitting up for a gentleman now--bad
cess to them for gentry; not but that he's as good a right as some,
and a dale more than others, who are ashamed to put their hand to a
turn of work. I hate such huggery muggery work up in a corner. It's
half your own doing; and a nice piece of work it'll be, when he's got
an ould wife and a dozen lawsuits!--when he finds his farm gone, and
his pockets empty; for it'll be a dale asier for him to be getting the
wife than the money--when he's got every body's abuse, and nothing
else, by his bargain!"
It was very apparent that Martin's secret had not been well kept, and
that the fact of his intended marriage with Anty Lynch was soon likely
to be known to all Dunmore. The truth was, that Moylan had begun to
think himself overreached in the matter--to be afraid that, by the very
measure he had himself proposed, he would lose all share in the great
prize he had put in Martin's way, and that he should himself be the
means of excluding his own finger from the pie. It appeared to him that
if he allowed this, his own folly would only be equalled by the young
man's ingratitude; and he determined therefore, if possible, to prevent
the match. Whereupon he told the matter as a secret, to those whom he
knew would set it moving. In a very short space of time it reached the
ears of Father Connel; and he lost none in stepping down to learn the
truth of so important a piece of luck to one of his parishioners, and
to congratulate the widow. Here, however, he was out in his reckoning,
for she declared she did not believe it,--that it wasn't, and couldn't
be true; and it was only after his departure that she succeeded in
extracting the truth from her daughters.
The news, however, quickly reached the kitchen and its lazy crowd; and
the inn door and its constant loungers; and was readily and gladly
credited in both places.
Crone after crone, and cripple after cripple, hurried into the shop, to
congratulate the angry widow on "masther Martin's luck; and warn't he
worthy of it, the handsome jewel--and wouldn't he look the gintleman,
every inch of him?" and Sally expatiated greatly on it in the kitchen,
and drank both their healths in an extra pot of tea, and Kate grinned
her delight, and Jack the ostler, who took care of Martin's horse,
boasted loudly of it in the street, declaring that "it was a good thing
enough for Anty Lynch, with all her money, to get a husband at all out
of the Kellys, for the divil a know any one knowed in the counthry
where the Lynchs come from; but every one knowed who the Kellys
wor--and Martin wasn't that far from the lord himself."
There was great commotion, during the whole day, at the inn. Some said
Martin had gone to town to buy furniture; others, that he had done so
to prove the will. One suggested that he'd surely have to fight Barry,
and another prayed that "if he did, he might kill the blackguard, and
have all the fortin to himself, out and out, God bless him!"
V. A LOVING BROTHER
The great news was not long before it reached the ears of one not
disposed to receive the information with much satisfaction, and this
was Barry Lynch, the proposed bride's amiable brother. The medium
through which he first heard it was not one likely to add to his good
humour. Jacky, the fool, had for many years been attached to the
Kelly's Court family; that is to say, he had attached himself to it, by
getting his food in the kitchen, and calling himself the lord's fool.
But, latterly, he had quarrelled with Kelly's Court, and had insisted
on being Sim Lynch's fool, much to the chagrin of that old man; and,
since his death, he had nearly maddened Barry by following him through
the street, and being continually found at the house-door when he went
out. Jack's attendance was certainly dictated by affection rather than
any mercenary views, for he never got a scrap out of the Dunmore House
kitchen, or a halfpenny from his new patron. But still, he was Barry's
fool; and, like other fools, a desperate annoyance to his master.
On the day in question, as young Mr. Lynch was riding out of the gate,
about three in the afternoon, there, as usual, was Jack.
"Now yer honour, Mr. Barry, darling, shure you won't forget Jacky
to-day. You'll not forget your own fool, Mr. Barry?"
Barry did not condescend to answer this customary appeal, but only
looked at the poor ragged fellow as though he'd like to flog the life
out of him.
"Shure your honour, Mr. Barry, isn't this the time then to open yer
honour's hand, when Miss Anty, God bless her, is afther making sich a
great match for the family?--Glory be to God!"
"What d'ye mean, you ruffian?"
"Isn't the Kellys great people intirely, Mr. Barry? and won't it be a
great thing for Miss Anty, to be sib to a lord? Shure yer honour'd not
be refusing me this blessed day."
"What the d---- are you saying about Miss Lynch?" said Barry, his
attention somewhat arrested by the mention of his sister's name.
"Isn't she going to be married then, to the dacentest fellow in
Dunmore? Martin Kelly, God bless him! Ah! there'll be fine times at
Dunmore, then. He's not the boy to rattle a poor divil out of the
kitchen into the cold winther night! The Kellys was always the right
sort for the poor."
Barry was frightened in earnest, now. It struck him at once that Jack
couldn't have made the story out of his own head; and the idea that
there was any truth in it, nearly knocked him off his horse. He rode
on, however, trying to appear to be regardless of what had been said to
him; and, as he trotted off, he heard the fool's parting salutation.
"And will yer honour be forgething me afther the news I've brought yer?
Well, hard as ye are, Misther Barry, I've hot yer now, any way."
And, in truth, Jack had hit him hard. Of all things that could happen
to him, this would be about the worst. He had often thought, with
dread, of his sister's marrying, and of his thus being forced to divide
everything--all his spoil, with some confounded stranger. But for her
to marry a shopkeeper's son, in the very village in which he lived, was
more than he could bear. He could never hold up his head in the county
again. And then, he thought of his debts, and tried to calculate
whether he might get over to France without paying them, and be able to
carry his share of the property with him; and so he went on, pursuing
his wretched, uneasy, solitary ride, sometimes sauntering along at a
snail's pace, and then again spurring the poor brute, and endeavouring
to bring his mind to some settled plan. But, whenever he did so, the
idea of his sister's death was the only one which seemed to present
either comfort or happiness.
He made up his mind, at last, to put a bold face on the matter; to find
out from Anty herself whether there was any truth in the story; and,
if there should be,--for he felt confident she would not be able to
deceive him,--to frighten her and the whole party of the Kellys out of
what he considered a damnable conspiracy to rob him of his father's
He got off his horse, and stalked into the house. On inquiry, he found
that Anty was in her own room. He was sorry she was not out; for, to
tell the truth, he was rather anxious to put off the meeting, as he
did not feel himself quite up to the mark, and was ashamed of seeming
afraid of her. He went into the stable, and abused the groom; into the
kitchen, and swore at the maid; and then into the garden. It was a
nasty, cold, February day, and he walked up and down the damp muddy
walks till he was too tired and cold to walk longer, and then turned
into the parlour, and remained with his back to the fire, till the man
came in to lay the cloth, thinking on the one subject that occupied all
his mind--occasionally grinding his teeth, and heaping curses on his
father and sister, who, together, had inflicted such grievous, such
unexpected injuries upon him.
If, at this moment, there was a soul in all Ireland over whom Satan had
full dominion--if there was a breast unoccupied by one good thought--if
there was a heart wishing, a brain conceiving, and organs ready to
execute all that was evil, from the worst motives, they were to be
found in that miserable creature, as he stood there urging himself on
to hate those whom he should have loved--cursing those who were nearest
to him--fearing her, whom he had ill-treated all his life--and striving
to pluck up courage to take such measures as might entirely quell
her. Money was to him the only source of gratification. He had looked
forward, when a boy, to his manhood, as a period when he might indulge,
unrestrained, in pleasures which money would buy; and, when a man, to
his father's death, as a time when those means would be at his full
command. He had neither ambition, nor affection, in his nature; his
father had taught him nothing but the excellence of money, and, having
fully imbued him with this, had cut him off from the use of it.
He was glad when he found that dinner was at hand, and that he could
not now see his sister until after he had fortified himself with drink.
Anty rarely, if ever, dined with him; so he sat down, and swallowed his
solitary meal. He did not eat much, but he gulped down three or four
glasses of wine; and, immediately on having done so, he desired the
servant, with a curse, to bring him hot water and sugar, and not to
keep him waiting all night for a tumbler of punch, as he did usually.
Before the man had got into the kitchen, he rang the bell again;
and when the servant returned breathless, with the steaming jug, he
threatened to turn him out of the house at once, if he was not quicker
in obeying the orders given him. He then made a tumbler of punch,
filling the glass half full of spirits, and drinking it so hot as to
scald his throat; and when that was done he again rang the bell, and
desired the servant to tell Miss Anty that he wanted to speak to her.
When the door was shut, he mixed more drink, to support his courage
during the interview, and made up his mind that nothing should daunt
him from preventing the marriage, in one way or another. When Anty
opened the door, he was again standing with his back to the fire, his
hands in his pockets, the flaps of his coat hanging over his arms, his
shoulders against the mantel-piece, and his foot on the chair on which
he had been sitting. His face was red, and his eyes were somewhat
blood-shot; he had always a surly look, though, from his black hair,
and large bushy whiskers, many people would have called him good
looking; but now there was a scowl in his restless eyes, which
frightened Anty when she saw it; and the thick drops of perspiration
on his forehead did not add benignity to his face.
"Were you wanting me, Barry?" said Anty, who was the first to speak.
"What do you stand there for, with the door open?" replied her brother,
"d' you think I want the servants to hear what I've got to say?"
"'Deed I don't know," said Anty, shutting the door; "but they'll hear
just as well now av' they wish, for they'll come to the kay-hole."
"Will they, by G----!" said Barry, and he rushed to the door, which
he banged open; finding no victim outside on whom to exercise his
wrath--"let me catch 'em!" and he returned to his position by the fire.
Anty had sat down on a sofa that stood by the wall opposite the
fireplace, and Barry remained for a minute, thinking how he'd open the
campaign. At last he began:
"Anty, look you here, now. What scheme have you got in your
head?--You'd better let me know, at once."
"What schame, Barry?"
"Well--what schame, if you like that better."
"I've no schame in my head, that I know of--at laist--" and then Anty
blushed. It would evidently be easy enough to make the poor girl tell
her own secret.
"Well, go on--at laist--"
"I don't know what you mane, Barry. Av' you're going to be badgering me
again, I'll go away."
"It's evident you're going to do something you're ashamed of, when
you're afraid to sit still, and answer a common question. But you must
answer me. I'm your brother, and have a right to know. What's this
you're going to do?' He didn't like to ask her at once whether she was
going to get married. It might not be true, and then he would only be
putting the idea into her head. 'Well,--why don't you answer me? What
is it you're going to do?"
"Is it about the property you mane, Barry?"
"What a d----d hypocrite you are! As if you didn't know what I mean!
As for the property, I tell you there'll be little left the way you're
going on. And as to that, I'll tell you what I'm going to do; so, mind,
I warn you beforehand. You're not able--that is, you're too foolish and
weak-headed to manage it yourself; and I mean, as your guardian, to put
it into the hands of those that shall manage it for you. I'm not going
to see you robbed and duped, and myself destroyed by such fellows as
Moylan, and a crew of huxtering blackguards down in Dunmore. And now,
tell me at once, what's this I hear about you and the Kellys?"
"What Kellys?" said Anty, blushing deeply, and half beside herself with
fear--for Barry's face was very red, and full of fierce anger, and his
rough words frightened her.
"What Kellys! Did you ever hear of Martin Kelly? d----d young robber
that he is!" Anty blushed still deeper--rose a little way from the
sofa, and then sat down again. "Look you here, Anty--I'll have the
truth out of you. I'm not going to be bamboozled by such an idiot as
you. You got an old man, when he was dying, to make a will that has
robbed me of what was my own, and now you think you'll play your own
low game; but you're mistaken! You've lived long enough without a
husband to do without one now; and I can tell you I'm not going to see
my property carried off by such a low, paltry blackguard as Martin
"How can he take your property, Barry?" sobbed forth the poor creature,
who was, by this time, far gone in tears.
"Then the long and the short of it is, he shan't have what you call
yours. Tell me, at once, will you--is it true, that you've promised to
Anty replied nothing, but continued sobbing violently.
"Cease your nonsense, you blubbering fool! A precious creature you
are to take on yourself to marry any man! Are you going to answer me,
Anty?" And he walked away from the fire, and came and stood opposite to
her as she sat upon the sofa. "Are you going to answer me or not?" he
continued, stamping on the floor.
"I'll not stop here--and be trated this way--Barry--I'm sure--I do all
I--I can for you--and you're always--bullying me because father divided
the property." And Anty continued sobbing more violently than ever. "I
won't stop in the room any more," and she got up to go to the door.
Barry, however, rushed before her, and prevented her. He turned the
lock, and put the key in his pocket; and then he caught her arm, as she
attempted to get to the bell, and dragged her back to the sofa.
"You're not off so easy as that, I can tell you. Why, d' you think
you're to marry whom you please, without even telling me of it? What
d'you think the world would say of me, if I were to let such an idiot
as you be caught up by the first sharper that tried to rob you of your
money? Now, look here," and he sat down beside her, and laid his hand
violently on her arm, as he spoke, "you don't go out of this room,
alive, until you've given me your solemn promise, and sworn on the
cross, that you'll never marry without my consent; and you'll give me
that in writing, too."
Anty at first turned very pale when she felt his heavy hand on her arm,
and saw his red, glaring eyes so near her own. But when he said she
shouldn't leave the room alive, she jumped from the sofa, and shrieked,
at the top of her shrill voice,--"Oh, Barry! you'll not murdher me!
shure you wouldn't murdher your own sisther!"
Barry was rather frightened at the noise, and, moreover, the word
"murder" quelled him. But when he found, after a moment's pause, that
the servants had not heard, or had not heeded his sister, he determined
to carry on his game, now that he had proceeded so far. He took,
however, a long drink out of his tumbler, to give him fresh courage,
and then returned to the charge.
"Who talked of murdering you? But, if you bellow in that way, I'll gag
you. It's a great deal I'm asking, indeed--that, when I'm your only
guardian, my advice should be asked for before you throw away your
money on a low ruffian. You're more fit for a mad-house than to be any
man's wife; and, by Heaven, that's where I'll put you, if you don't
give me the promise I ask! Will you swear you'll marry no one without
Poor Anty shook with fear as she sate, with her eyes fixed on her
brother's face. He was nearly drunk now, and she felt that he was
so,--and he looked so hot and so fierce--so red and cruel, that she
was all but paralysed. Nevertheless, she mustered strength to say,
"Let me go, now, Barry, and, to-morrow, I'll tell you
everything--indeed I will--and I'll thry to do all you'd have me;
indeed, and indeed, I will! Only do let me go now, for you've frighted
"You're likely to be more frighted yet, as you call it! And be tramping
along the roads, I suppose, with Martin Kelly, before the morning. No!
I'll have an answer from you, any way. I've a right to that!"
"Oh, Barry!--What is it you want?--Pray let me go--pray, pray, for the
love of the blessed Jesus, let me go."
"I'll tell you where you'll go, and that's into Ballinasloe mad-house!
Now, mark me--so help me--I'll set off with you this night, and have
you there in the morning--as an idiot as you are, if you won't make the
promise I'm telling you!"
By this time Anty's presence of mind had clean left her. Indeed, all
the faculties of her reason had vanished; and, as she saw her brother's
scowling face so near her own, and heard him threatening to drag her to
a mad-house, she put her hands before her eyes, and made one rush to
escape from him--to the door--to the window--anywhere to get out of his
Barry was quite drunk now. Had he not been so, even he would hardly
have done what he then did. As she endeavoured to rush by him, he
raised his fist, and struck her on the face, with all his force. The
blow fell upon her hands, as they were crossed over her face; but the
force of the blow knocked her down, and she fell upon the floor,
senseless, striking the back of her head against the table.
"Confound her," muttered the brute, between his teeth, as she fell,
"for an obstinate, pig-headed fool! What the d----l shall I do now?
Anty, get up!--get up, will you!--What ails you?"--and then again to
himself, "the d----l seize her! What am I to do now?" and he succeeded
in dragging her on to the sofa.
The man-servant and the cook although up to this point, they had
considered it would be ill manners to interrupt the brother and sister
in their family interview, were nevertheless at the door; and though
they could see nothing, and did not succeed in hearing much, were not
the less fully aware that the conversation was of a somewhat stormy
nature on the part of the brother. When they heard the noise which
followed the blow, though not exactly knowing what had happened, they
became frightened, and began to think something terrible was being
"Go in, Terry, avich," whispered the woman,--"Knock, man, and go
in--shure he's murdhering her!"
"What 'ud he do to me thin, av' he'd strick a woman, and she his own
flesh and blood! He'll not murdher her--but, faix, he's afther doing
something now! Knock, Biddy, knock, I say, and screech out that you're
afther wanting Miss Anty."
The woman had more courage than the man--or else more compassion, for,
without further parleying, she rapped her knuckles loudly against the
door, and, as she did so, Terry sneaked away to the kitchen.
Barry had just succeeded in raising his sister to the sofa as he heard
"Who's that?" he called out loudly; "what do you want?"
"Plaze yer honer, Miss Anty's wanting in the kitchen."
"She's busy, and can't come at present; she'll be there directly."
"Is she ill at all, Mr. Barry? God bless you, spake, Miss Anty; in
God's name, spake thin. Ah! Mr. Barry, thin, shure she'd spake av' she
"Go away, you fool! Your mistress'll be out in a minute." Then, after a
moment's consideration, he went and unlocked the door, "or--go in, and
see what she wants. She's fainted, I think."
Barry Lynch walked out of the room, and into the garden before the
house, to think over what he had done, and what he'd better do for the
future, leaving Anty to the care of the frightened woman.
She soon came to herself, and, excepting that her head was bruised
in the fall, was not much hurt. The blow, falling on her hands, had
neither cut nor marked her; but she was for a long time so flurried
that she did not know where she was, and, in answer to all Biddy's
tender inquiries as to the cause of her fall, and anathemas as to the
master's bad temper, merely said that "she'd get to bed, for her head
ached so, she didn't know where she was."
To bed accordingly she went; and glad she was to have escaped alive
from that drunken face, which had glared on her for the last half hour.
After wandering about round the house and through the grounds, for
above an hour, Barry returned, half sobered, to the room; but, in his
present state of mind, he could not go to bed sober. He ordered more
hot water, and again sat down alone to drink, and drown the remorse he
was beginning to feel for what he had done--or rather, not remorse, but
the feeling of fear that every one would know how he had treated Anty,
and that they would side with her against him. Whichever way he looked,
all was misery and disappointment to him, and his only hope, for the
present, was in drink. There he sat, for a long time, with his eyes
fixed on the turf, till it was all burnt out, trying to get fresh
courage from the spirits he swallowed, and swearing to himself that he
would not be beat by a woman.
About one o'clock he seized one of the candles, and staggered up to
bed. As he passed his sister's door, he opened it and went in. She was
fast asleep; her shoes were off, and the bed-clothes were thrown over
her, but she was not undressed. He slowly shut the door, and stood, for
some moments, looking at her; then, walking to the bed, he took her
shoulder, and shook it as gently as his drunkenness would let him. This
did not wake her, so he put the candle down on the table, close beside
the bed, and, steadying himself against the bedstead, he shook her
again and again. "Anty", he whispered, "Anty"; and, at last, she opened
her eyes. Directly she saw his face, she closed them again, and buried
her own in the clothes; however, he saw that she was awake, and,
bending his head, he muttered, loud enough for her to hear, but in a
thick, harsh, hurried, drunken voice, "Anty--d'ye hear? If you marry
that man, I'll have your life!" and then, leaving the candle behind
him, he staggered off into his own room in the dark.
VI. THE ESCAPE
In vain, after that, did Anty try to sleep; turn which way she would,
she saw the bloodshot eyes and horrid drunken face of her cruel
brother. For a long time she lay, trembling and anxious; fearing she
knew not what, and trying to compose herself--trying to make herself
think that she had no present cause for fear; but in vain. If she heard
a noise, she thought it was her brother's footstep, and when the house
was perfectly silent and still, she feared the very silence itself. At
last, she crept out of bed, and, taking the candle left by her brother,
which had now burned down to the socket, stepped softly down the
stairs, to the place where the two maid-servants slept, and, having
awakened them, she made Biddy return with her and keep her company for
the remainder of the night. She did not quite tell the good-natured
girl all that had passed; she did not own that her brother had
threatened to send her to a madhouse, or that he had sworn to have her
life; but she said enough to show that he had shamefully ill-treated
her, and to convince Biddy that wherever her mistress might find a
home, it would be very unadvisable that she and Barry should continue
to live under the same roof.
Early in the morning, "Long afore the break o' day," as the song says,
Biddy got up from her hard bed on the floor of her mistress' room, and,
seeing that Anty was at last asleep, started to carry into immediate
execution the counsels she had given during the night. As she passed
the head of the stairs, she heard the loud snore of Barry, in his
drunken slumber; and, wishing that he might sleep as sound for ever and
ever, she crept down to her own domicile, and awakened her comrade.
"Whist, Judy--whist, darlint! Up wid ye, and let me out."
"And what'd you be doing out now?" yawned Judy.
"An arrand of the misthress;--shure, he used her disperate. Faix, it's
a wondher he didn't murther her outright!"
"And where are ye going now?"
"Jist down to Dunmore--to the Kellys then, avich. Asy now; I'll be
telling you all bye and bye. She must be out of this intirely."
"Is't Miss Anty? Where'd she be going thin out of this?"
"Divil a matther where! He'd murther her, the ruffian 'av he cotched
her another night in his dhrunkenness. We must git her out before he
sleeps hisself right. But hurry now, I'll be telling you all when I'm
The two crept off to the back door together, and, Judy having opened
it, Biddy sallied out, on her important and good-natured mission. It
was still dark, though the morning was beginning to break, as she
stood, panting, at the front door of the inn. She tried to get in at
the back, but the yard gates were fastened; and Jack, the ostler, did
not seem to be about yet. So she gave a timid, modest knock, with the
iron knocker, on the front door. A pause, and then a second knock, a
little louder; another pause, and then a third; and then, as no one
came, she remembered the importance of her message, and gave such a rap
as a man might do, who badly wanted a glass of hot drink after
travelling the whole night.
The servants had good or hardy consciences, for they slept soundly; but
the widow Kelly, in her little bed-room behind the shop, well knew the
sound of that knocker, and, hurrying on her slippers and her gown, she
got to the door, and asked who was there.
"Is that Sally, ma'am?" said Biddy, well knowing the widow's voice.
"No, it's not. What is it you're wanting?"
"Is it Kate thin, ma'am?"
"No, it's not Kate. Who are you, I say; and what d'you want?"
"I'm Biddy, plaze ma'am--from Lynch's, and I'm wanting to spake to
yerself, ma'am--about Miss Anty. She's very bad intirely, ma'am."
"What ails her;--and why d'you come here? Why don't you go to Doctor
Colligan, av' she's ill; and not come knocking here?"
"It ain't bad that way, Miss Anty is, ma'am. Av' you'd just be good
enough to open the door, I'd tell you in no time."
It would, I am sure, be doing injustice to Mrs Kelly to say that her
curiosity was stronger than her charity; they both, however, no doubt
had their effect, and the door was speedily opened.
"Oh, ma'am!" commenced Biddy, "sich terrible doings up at the house!
Miss Anty's almost kilt!"
"Come out of the cowld, girl, in to the kitchen fire," said the widow,
who didn't like the February blast, to which Biddy, in her anxiety, had
been quite indifferent; and the careful widow again bolted the door,
and followed the woman into certainly the warmest place in Dunmore, for
the turf fire in the inn kitchen was burning day and night. "And now,
tell me what is it ails Miss Anty? She war well enough yesterday, I
think, and I heard more of her then than I wished."
Biddy now pulled her cloak from off her head, settled it over her
shoulders, and prepared for telling a good substantial story.
"Oh, Misthress Kelly, ma'am, there's been disperate doings last night
up at the house. We were all hearing, in the morn yesterday, as how
Miss Anty and Mr Martin, God bless him!--were to make a match of
it,--as why wouldn't they, ma'am? for wouldn't Mr Martin make her a
tidy, dacent, good husband?"
"Well, well, Biddy--don't mind Mr Martin; he'll be betther without a
wife for one while, and he needn't be quarrelling for one when he wants
her. What ails Miss Anty?"
"Shure I'm telling you, ma'am; howsomever, whether its thrue or no
about Mr Martin, we were all hearing it yestherday; and the masther,
he war afther hearing it too, for he come into his dinner as black as
tunder; and Terry says he dhrunk the whole of a bottle of wine, and
then he called for the sperrits, and swilled away at them till he was
nigh dhrunk. Well, wid that, ma'am, he sent for Miss Anty, and the
moment she comes in, he locks to the door, and pulls her to the sofa,
and swears outright that he'll murdher her av' she don't swear, by the
blessed Mary and the cross, that she'll niver dhrame of marrying no
"Who tould you all this, Biddy? was it herself?"
"Why, thin, partly herself it war who tould me, ma'am, and partly--;
you see, when Mr Barry war in his tantrums and dhrunken like, I didn't
like to be laving Miss Anty alone wid him, and nobody nigh, so I and
Terry betook ourselves nigh the door, and, partly heard what was
going on; that's the thruth on it, Mrs Kelly; and, afther a dale of
rampaging and scolding, may I niver see glory av' he didn't up wid his
clenched fist, strik her in the face, and knock her down--all for one
as 'av she wor a dhrunken blackguard at a fair!"
"You didn't see that, Biddy?"
"No, ma'am--I didn't see it; how could I, through the door?--but I
heerd it, plain enough. I heerd the poor cratur fall for dead amongst
the tables and chairs--I did, Mrs Kelly--and I heerd the big blow smash
agin her poor head, and down she wint--why wouldn't she? and he, the
born ruffian, her own brother, the big blackguard, stricking at her wid
all his force! Well, wid that ma'am, I rushed into the room--at laist,
I didn't rush in--for how could I, and the door locked?--but I knocked
agin and agin, for I war afeard he would be murthering her out and out.
So, I calls out, as loud as I could, as how Miss Anty war wanting in
the kitchen: and wid that he come to the door, and unlocks it as bould
as brass, and rushes out into the garden, saying as how Miss Anty war
afther fainting. Well, in course I goes in to her, where he had dragged
her upon the sofa, and, thrue enough, she war faint indeed."
"And, did she tell you, Biddy, that her own brother had trated her that
"Wait, Mrs Kelly, ma'am, till I tell yer how it all happened. When she
comed to herself--and she warn't long coming round--she didn't say
much, nor did I; for I didn't just like then to be saying much agin the
masther, for who could know where his ears were?--perish his sowl, the
"Don't be cursing, Biddy."
"No, ma'am; only he must be cursed, sooner or later. Well, when she
comed to herself, she begged av' me to help her to bed, and she went up
to her room, and laid herself down, and I thought to myself that at any
rate it was all over for that night. When she war gone, the masther
he soon come back into the house, and begun calling for the sperrits
again, like mad; and Terry said that when he tuk the biling wather into
the room, Mr Barry war just like the divil--as he's painted, only for
his ears. After that Terry wint to bed; and I and Judy weren't long
afther him, for we didn't care to be sitting up alone wid him, and he
mad dhrunk. So we turned in, and we were in bed maybe two hours or so,
and fast enough, when down come the misthress--as pale as a sheet, wid
a candle in her hand, and begged me, for dear life, to come up into her
room to her, and so I did, in coorse. And then she tould me all--and,
not contint with what he'd done down stairs, but the dhrunken ruffian
must come up into her bed-room and swear the most dreadfullest things
to her you iver heerd, Mrs Kelly. The words he war afther using, and
the things he said, war most horrid; and Miss Anty wouldn't for her
dear life, nor for all the money in Dunmore, stop another night, nor
another day in the house wid him."
"But, is she much hurt, Biddy?"
"Oh! her head's cut, dreadful, where she fell, ma'am: and he shuck the
very life out of her poor carcase; so he did, Mrs Kelly, the ruffian!"
"Don't be cursing, I tell you, girl. And what is it your misthress is
wishing to do now? Did she tell you to come to me?"
"No, ma'am; she didn't exactly tell me--only as she war saying that she
wouldn't for anything be staying in the house with Mr Barry; and as she
didn't seem to be knowing where she'd be going, and av' she be raally
going to be married to Mr Martin--"
"Drat Mr Martin, you fool! Did she tell you she wanted to come here?".
"She didn't quite say as much as that. To tell the thruth, thin, it wor
I that said it, and she didn't unsay it; so, wid that, I thought I'd
come down here the first thing, and av' you, Mrs Kelly, wor thinking it
right, we'd get her out of the house before the masther's stirring."
The widow was a prudent woman, and she stood, for some time,
considering; for she felt that, if she held out her hand to Anty now,
she must stick to her through and through in the battle which there
would be between her and her brother; and there might be more plague
than profit in that. But then, again, she was not at all so indifferent
as she had appeared to be, to her favourite son's marrying four
hundred a-year. She was angry at his thinking of such a thing without
consulting her; she feared the legal difficulties he must encounter;
and she didn't like the thoughts of its being said that her son had
married an old fool, and cozened her out of her money. But still,
four hundred a-year was a great thing; and Anty was a good-tempered
tractable young woman, of the right religion, and would not make a bad
wife; and, on reconsideration, Mrs Kelly thought the thing wasn't to be
sneezed at. Then, again, she hated Barry, and, having a high spirit,
felt indignant that he should think of preventing her son from marrying
his sister, if the two of them chose to do it; and she knew she'd be
able, and willing enough, too, to tell him a bit of her mind, if there
should be occasion. And lastly, and most powerfully of all, the woman's
feeling came in to overcome her prudential scruples, and to open her
heart and her house to a poor, kindly, innocent creature, ill-treated
as Anty Lynch had been. She was making up her mind what to do, and
determining to give battle royal to Barry and all his satellites, on
behalf of Anty, when Biddy interrupted her by saying,--
"I hope I warn't wrong, ma'am, in coming down and throubling you so
arly? I thought maybe you'd be glad to befrind Miss Anty--seeing she
and Miss Meg, and Miss Jane, is so frindly."
"No, Biddy;--for a wondher, you're right, this morning. Mr Barry won't
be stirring yet?"
"Divil a stir, ma'am! The dhrunkenness won't be off him yet this long
while. And will I go up, and be bringing Miss Anty down, ma'am?"
"Wait a while. Sit to the fire there, and warm your shins. You're a
good girl. I'll go and get on my shoes and stockings, and my cloak, and
bonnet. I must go up wid you myself, and ask yer misthress down, as she
should be asked. They'll be telling lies on her 'av she don't lave the
house dacently, as she ought."
"More power to you thin, Mrs Kelly, this blessed morning, for a kind
good woman as you are, God bless you!" whimpered forth Biddy, who, now
that she had obtained her request, began to cry, and to stuff the
corner of her petticoat into her eyes.
"Whist, you fool--whist," said the widow. "Go and get up Sally--you
know where she sleeps--and tell her to put down a fire in the little
parlour upstairs, and to get a cup of tay ready, and to have Miss Meg
up. Your misthress'll be the better of a quiet sleep afther the night
she's had, and it'll be betther for her jist popping into Miss Meg's
bed than getting between a pair of cowld sheets."
These preparations met with Biddy's entire approval, for she reiterated
her blessings on the widow, as she went to announce all the news to
Sally and Kate, while Mrs Kelly made such preparations as were fitting
for a walk, at that early hour, up to Dunmore House.
They were not long before they were under weigh, but they did not reach
the house quite so quickly as Biddy had left it. Mrs Kelly had to pick
her way in the half light, and observed that "she'd never been up to
the house since old Simeon Lynch built it, and when the stones were
laying for it, she didn't think she ever would; but one never knowed
what changes might happen in this world."
They were soon in the house, for Judy was up to let them in; and though
she stared when she saw Mrs Kelly, she merely curtsied, and said
The girl went upstairs first, with the candle, and Mrs Kelly followed,
very gently, on tiptoe. She need not have been so careful to avoid
waking Barry, for, had a drove of oxen been driven upstairs, it would
not have roused him. However, up she crept,--her thick shoes creaking
on every stair,--and stood outside the door, while Biddy went in to
break the news of her arrival.
Anty was still asleep, but it did not take much to rouse her; and she
trembled in her bed, when, on her asking what was the matter, Mrs Kelly
popped her bonnet inside the door, and said,
"It's only me, my dear. Mrs Kelly, you know, from the inn," and then
she very cautiously insinuated the rest of her body into the room, as
though she thought that Barry was asleep under the bed, and she was
afraid of treading on one of his stray fingers. "It's only me, my
dear. Biddy's been down to me, like a good girl; and I tell you
what--this is no place for you, just at present, Miss Anty; not till
such time as things is settled a little. So I'm thinking you'd betther
be slipping down wid me to the inn there, before your brother's up.
There's nobody in it, not a sowl, only Meg, and Jane, and me, and
we'll make you snug enough between us, never fear."
"Do, Miss Anty, dear do, darling," added Biddy. "It'll be a dale
betther for you than waiting here to be batthered and bruised, and,
perhaps, murthered out and out."
"Hush, Biddy--don't be saying such things," said the widow, who had a
great idea of carrying on the war on her own premises, but who felt
seriously afraid of Barry now that she was in his house, "don't be
saying such things, to frighthen her. But you'll be asier there than
here," she continued, to Anty; "and there's nothin like having things
asy. So, get up alanna , and we'll have you warm and snug down there in
[FOOTNOTE 12: alanna--my child]
Anty did not want much persuading. She was soon induced to get up and
dress herself, to put on her cloak and bonnet, and hurry off with the
widow, before the people of Dunmore should be up to look at her going
through the town to the inn; while Biddy was left to pack up such
things as were necessary for her mistress' use, and enjoined to hurry
down with them to the inn as quick as she could; for, as the widow
said, "there war no use in letting every idle bosthoon  in the
place see her crossing with a lot of baggage, and set them all asking
the where and the why and the wherefore; though, for the matther of
that, they'd all hear it soon enough."
[FOOTNOTE 13: bosthoon--a worthless fellow]
To tell the truth, Mrs Kelly's courage waned from the moment of her
leaving her own door, and it did not return till she felt herself
within it again. Indeed, as she was leaving the gate of Dunmore House,
with Anty on her arm, she was already beginning to repent what she was
doing; for there were idlers about, and she felt ashamed of carrying
off the young heiress. But these feelings vanished the moment she had
crossed her own sill. When she had once got Anty home, it was all
right. The widow Kelly seldom went out into the world; she seldom went
anywhere except to mass; and, when out, she was a very modest and
retiring old lady; but she could face the devil, if necessary, across
her own counter.
And so Anty was rescued, for a while, from her brother's persecution.
This happened on the morning on which Martin and Lord Ballindine met
together at the lawyer's, when the deeds were prepared which young
Kelly's genuine honesty made him think necessary before he eloped with
old Sim Lynch's heiress. He would have been rather surprised to hear,
at that moment, that his mother had been before him, and carried off
his bride elect to the inn!
Anty was soon domesticated. The widow, very properly, wouldn't let her
friends, Meg and Jane, ask her any questions at present. Sally had
made, on the occasion, a pot of tea sufficient to supply the morning
wants of half a regiment, and had fully determined that it should not
be wasted. The Kelly girls were both up, and ready to do anything for
their friend; so they got her to take a little of Sally's specific, and
put her into a warm bed to sleep, quiet and secure from any
While her guest was sleeping, the widow made up her mind that her best
and safest course, for the present, would be, as she expressed it to
her daughter, Meg, "to keep her toe in her pump, and say nothing to
"Anty can just stay quiet and asy," she continued, "till we see what
Master Barry manes to be afther; he'll find it difficult enough to move
her out of this, I'm thinking, and I doubt his trying. As to money
matthers, I'll neither meddle nor make, nor will you, mind; so listen
to that, girls; and as to Moylan, he's a dacent quiet poor man--but
it's bad thrusting any one. Av' he's her agent, however, I s'pose he'll
look afther the estate; only, Barry'll be smashing the things up there
at the house yonder in his anger and dhrunken fits, and it's a pity
the poor girl's property should go to rack. But he's such a born
divil, she's lucky to be out of his clutches alive; though, thank the
Almighty, that put a good roof over the lone widow this day, he can't
clutch her here. Wouldn't I like to see him come to the door and ax for
her! And he can't smash the acres, nor the money they say Mulholland
has, at Tuam; and faix, av' he does any harm up there at the house,
shure enough Anty can make him pay for--it every pot and pan of it--out
of his share, and she'll do it, too--av' she's said by me. But mind,
I'll neither meddle nor make; neither do you, and then we're safe, and
Anty too. And Martin'll be here soon--I wondher what good Dublin'll
do him?--They might have the Repale without him, I suppose?--And when
he's here, why, av' he's minded to marry her, and she's plased, why,
Father Geoghegan may come down, and do it before the whole counthry,
and who's ashamed? But there'll be no huggery-muggery, and schaming;
that is, av' they're said by me. Faix, I'd like to know who she's to
be afeared of, and she undher this roof! I s'pose Martin ain't fool
enough to care for what such a fellow as Barry Lynch can do or say--and
he with all the Kellys to back him; as shure they would, and why not,
from the lord down? Not that I recommend the match; I think Martin a
dale betther off as he is, for he's wanting nothing, and he's his own
industhry--and, maybe, a handful of money besides. But, as for being
afeard--I niver heard yet that a Kelly need be afeard of a Lynch in
In this manner did Mrs Kelly express the various thoughts that ran
through her head, as she considered Anty's affairs; and if we could
analyse the good lady's mind, we should probably find that the result
of her reflections was a pleasing assurance that she could exercise
the Christian virtues of charity and hospitality towards Anty, and, at
the same time, secure her son's wishes and welfare, without subjecting
her own name to any obloquy, or putting herself to any loss or
inconvenience. She determined to put no questions to Anty, nor even to
allude to her brother, unless spoken to on the subject; but, at the
same time, she stoutly resolved to come to no terms with Barry, and
to defy him to the utmost, should he attempt to invade her in her own
After a sound sleep Anty got up, much strengthened and refreshed, and
found the two Kelly girls ready to condole with, or congratulate her,
according to her mood and spirits. In spite of their mother's caution,
they were quite prepared for gossiping, as soon as Anty showed the
slightest inclination that way; and, though she at first was afraid to
talk about her brother, and was even, from kindly feeling, unwilling
to do so, the luxury of such an opportunity of unrestrained confidence
overcame her; and, before the three had been sitting together for a
couple of hours, she had described the whole interview, as well as the
last drunken midnight visit of Barry's to her own bed-room, which, to
her imagination, was the most horrible of all the horrors of the night.
Poor Anty. She cried vehemently that morning--more in sorrow for her
brother, than in remembrance of her own fears, as she told her friends
how he had threatened to shut her up in a mad-house, and then to murder
her, unless she promised him not to marry; and when she described how
brutally he had struck her, and how, afterwards, he had crept to her
room, with his red eyes and swollen face, in the dead of the night,
and, placing his hot mouth close to her ears, had dreadfully sworn that
she should die, if she thought of Martin Kelly as her husband, she
trembled as though she was in an ague fit.
The girls said all they could to comfort her, and they succeeded in
a great degree; but they could not bring her to talk of Martin. She
shuddered whenever his name was mentioned, and they began to fear
that Barry's threat would have the intended effect, and frighten her
from the match. However, they kindly talked of other things--of how
impossible it was that she should go back to Dunmore House, and how
comfortable and snug they would make her at the inn, till she got
a home for herself; of what she should do, and of all their little
household plans together; till Anty, when she could forget her
brother's threats for a time, seemed to be more comfortable and happy
than she had been for years.
In vain did the widow that morning repeatedly invoke Meg and Jane,
first one and then the other, to assist in her commercial labours. In
vain were Sally and Kate commissioned to bring them down. If, on some
urgent behest, one of them darted down to mix a dandy of punch, or
weigh a pound of sugar, when the widow was imperatively employed
elsewhere, she was upstairs again, before her mother could look about
her; and, at last, Mrs Kelly was obliged to content herself with the
reflection that girls would be girls, and that it was "nathural and
right they shouldn't wish to lave Anty alone the first morning, and she
sthrange to the place."
At five o'clock, the widow, as was her custom, went up to her dinner;
and Meg was then obliged to come down and mind the shop, till her
sister, having dined, should come down and relieve guard. She had only
just ensconced herself behind the counter, when who should walk into
the shop but Barry Lynch.
Had Meg seen an ogre, or the enemy of all mankind himself, she could
not, at the moment, have been more frightened; and she stood staring at
him, as if the sudden loss of the power of motion alone prevented her
from running away.
"I want to see Mrs Kelly," said Barry; "d'ye hear? I want to see your
mother; go and tell her."
But we must go back, and see how Mr Lynch had managed to get up, and
pass his morning.
VII. MR BARRY LYNCH MAKES A MORNING CALL
It was noon before Barry first opened his eyes, and discovered the
reality of the headache which the night's miserable and solitary
debauch had entailed on him. For, in spite of the oft-repeated
assurance that there is not a headache in a hogshead of it, whiskey
punch will sicken one, as well as more expensive and more fashionable
potent drinks. Barry was very sick when he first awoke; and very
miserable, too; for vague recollections of what he had done, and
doubtful fears of what he might have done, crowded on him. A drunken
man always feels more anxiety about what he has not done in his
drunkenness, than about what he has; and so it was with Barry. He
remembered having used rough language with his sister, but he could not
remember how far he had gone. He remembered striking her, and he knew
that the servant had come in; but he could not remember how, or with
what he had struck her, or whether he had done so more than once, or
whether she had been much hurt. He could not even think whether he had
seen her since or not; he remembered being in the garden after she had
fallen, and drinking again after that, but nothing further. Surely, he
could not have killed her? he could not even have hurt her very much,
or he would have heard of it before this. If anything serious had
happened, the servants would have taken care that he should have heard
enough about it ere now. Then he began to think what o'clock it could
be, and that it must be late, for his watch was run down; the general
fate of drunkards, who are doomed to utter ignorance of the hour at
which they wake to the consciousness of their miserable disgrace. He
feared to ring the bell for the servant; he was afraid to ask the
particulars of last night's work; so he turned on his pillow, and tried
to sleep again. But in vain. If he closed his eyes, Anty was before
them, and he was dreaming, half awake, that he was trying to stifle
her, and that she was escaping, to tell all the world of his brutality
and cruelty. This happened over and over again; for when he dozed but
for a minute, the same thing re-occurred, as vividly as before, and
made even his waking consciousness preferable to the visions of his
disturbed slumbers. So, at last, he roused himself, and endeavoured to
think what he should do.
Whilst he was sitting up in his bed, and reflecting that he must
undress himself before he could dress himself--for he had tumbled into
bed with most of his clothes on--Terry's red head appeared at the door,
showing an anxiety, on the part of its owner, to see if "the masther"
was awake, but to take no step to bring about such a state, if,
luckily, he still slept.
"What's the time, Terry?" said Lynch, frightened, by his own state,
into rather more courtesy than he usually displayed to those dependent
"Well then, I b'lieve it's past one, yer honer."
"The d----l it is! I've such a headache. I was screwed last night; eh,
"I b'lieve yer war, yer honer."
"What o'clock was it when I went to bed?"
"Well then, I don't rightly know, Mr Barry; it wasn't only about ten
when I tuk in the last hot wather, and I didn't see yer honer afther
"Well; tell Miss Anty to make me a cup of tea, and do you bring it up
here." This was a feeler. If anything was the matter with Anty, Terry
would be sure to tell him now; but he only said, "Yis, yer honer," and
Barry now comforted himself with the reflection that there was no great
harm done, and that though, certainly, there had been some row between
him and Anty, it would probably blow over; and then, also, he began to
reflect that, perhaps, what he had said and done, would frighten her
out of her match with Kelly.
In the meantime. Terry went into the kitchen, with the news that
"masther was awake, and axing for tay." Biddy had considered herself
entitled to remain all the morning at the inn, having, in a manner,
earned a right to be idle for that day, by her activity during the
night; and the other girl had endeavoured to enjoy the same luxury, for
she had been found once or twice during the morning, ensconced in the
kitchen, under Sally's wing; but Mrs Kelly had hunted her back, to go
and wait on her master, giving her to understand that she would not
receive the whole household.
"And ye're afther telling him where Miss Anty's gone, Terry?" inquired
the injured fair one.
"Divil a tell for me thin,--shure, he may find it out hisself, widout
my telling him."
"Faix, it's he'll be mad thin, when he finds she's taken up with the
likes of the widdy Kelly!"
"And ain't she betther there, nor being murthered up here? He'd be
killing her out and out some night."
"Well, but Terry, he's not so bad as all that; there's worse than him,
and ain't it rasonable he shouldn't be quiet and asy, and she taking up
with the likes of Martin Kelly?"
"May be so; but wouldn't she be a dale happier with Martin than up here
wid him? Any ways it don't do angering him, so, get him the tay, Judy."
It was soon found that this was easier said than done, for Anty, in her
confusion, had taken away the keys in her pocket, and there was no tea
to be had.
The bell was now rung, and, as Barry had gradually re-assured himself,
rung violently; and Terry, when he arrived distracted at the bed-room
door, was angrily asked by his thirsty master why the tea didn't
appear? The truth was now obliged to come out, or at any rate, part of
it: so Terry answered, that Miss Anty was out, and had the keys with
Miss Anty was so rarely out, that Barry instantly trembled again. Had
she gone to a magistrate, to swear against him? Had she run away from
him? Had she gone off with Martin?
"Where the d----l's she gone, Terry?" said he, in his extremity.
"Faix, yer honour, thin, I'm not rightly knowing; but I hear tell she's
down at the widow Kelly's."
"Who told you, you fool?"
"Well thin, yer honer, it war Judy."
"And where's Judy?"
And it ended in Judy's being produced, and the two of them, at length,
explained to their master, that the widow had come up early in the
morning and fetched her away; and Judy swore "that not a know she
knowed how it had come about, or what had induced the widow to come, or
Miss Anty to go, or anything about it; only, for shure, Miss Anty was
down there, snug enough, with Miss Jane and Miss Meg; and the widdy
war in her tantrums, and wouldn't let ony dacent person inside the
house-door--barring Biddy. And that wor all she knowed av' she wor on
The secret was now out. Anty had left him, and put herself under the
protection of Martin Kelly's mother; had absolutely defied him, after
all his threats of the preceding night. What should he do now! All his
hatred for her returned again, all his anxious wishes that she might be
somehow removed from his path, as an obnoxious stumbling-block. A few
minutes ago, he was afraid he had murdered her, and he now almost
wished that he had done so. He finished dressing himself, and then
sat down in the parlour, which had been the scene of his last night's
brutality, to concoct fresh schemes for the persecution of his sister.
In the meantime, Terry rushed down to the inn, demanding the keys, and
giving Mrs Kelly a fearful history of his master's anger. This she very
wisely refrained from retailing, but, having procured the keys, gave
them to the messenger, merely informing him, that "thanks to God's kind
protection, Miss Anty was tolerably well over the last night's work,
and he might tell his master so."
This message Terry thought it wisest to suppress, so he took the
breakfast up in silence, and his master asked no more questions. He
was very sick and pale, and could eat nothing; but he drank a quantity
of tea, and a couple of glasses of brandy-and-water, and then he
felt better, and again began to think what measures he should take,
what scheme he could concoct, for stopping this horrid marriage, and
making his sister obedient to his wishes. "Confound her," he said,
almost aloud, as he thought, with bitter vexation of spirit, of her
unincumbered moiety of the property, "confound them all!" grinding his
teeth, and meaning by the "all" to include with Anty his father, and
every one who might have assisted his father in making the odious will,
as well as his own attorney in Tuam, who wouldn't find out some legal
expedient by which he could set it aside. And then, as he thought of
the shameful persecution of which he was the victim, he kicked the
fender with impotent violence, and, as the noise of the falling fire
irons added to his passion, he reiterated his kicks till the
unoffending piece of furniture was smashed; and then with manly
indignation he turned away to the window.
But breaking the furniture, though it was what the widow predicted of
him, wouldn't in any way mend matters, or assist him in getting out of
his difficulties. What was he to do? He couldn't live on L200 a-year;
he couldn't remain in Dunmore, to be known by every one as Martin
Kelly's brother-in-law; he couldn't endure the thoughts of dividing the
property with such "a low-born huxtering blackguard", as he called him
over and over again. He couldn't stay there, to be beaten by him in the
course of legal proceedings, or to give him up amicable possession of
what ought to have been--what should have been his--what he looked
upon as his own. He came back, and sat down again over the fire,
contemplating the debris of the fender, and turning all these miserable
circumstances over in his mind. After remaining there till five
o'clock, and having fortified himself with sundry glasses of wine, he
formed his resolution. He would make one struggle more; he would first
go down to the widow, and claim his sister, as a poor simple young
woman, inveigled away from her natural guardian; and, if this were
unsuccessful, as he felt pretty sure it would be, he would take
proceedings to prove her a lunatic. If he failed, he might still delay,
and finally put off the marriage; and he was sure he could get some
attorney to put him in the way of doing it, and to undertake the work
for him. His late father's attorney had been a fool, in not breaking
the will, or at any rate trying it, and he would go to Daly. Young
Daly, he knew, was a sharp fellow, and wanted practice, and this would
just suit him. And then, if at last he found that nothing could be done
by this means, if his sister and the property _must_ go from him, he
would compromise the matter with the bridegroom, he would meet him half
way, and, raising what money he could on his share of the estate, give
leg bail to his creditors, and go to some place abroad, where tidings
of Dunmore would never reach him. What did it matter what people said?
he should never hear it. He would make over the whole property to
Kelly, on getting a good life income out of it. Martin was a prudent
fellow, and would jump at such a plan. As he thought of this, he
even began to wish that it was done; he pictured to himself the easy
pleasures, the card-tables, the billiard-rooms, and cafes of some
Calais or Boulogne; pleasures which he had never known, but which had
been so glowingly described to him; and he got almost cheerful again as
he felt that, in any way, there might be bright days yet in store for
He would, however, still make the last effort for the whole stake. It
would be time enough to give in, and make the best of a _pis aller_
, when he was forced to do so. If beaten, he would make use of
Martin Kelly; but he would first try if he couldn't prove him to be a
swindling adventurer, and his sister to be an idiot.
[FOOTNOTE 14: pis aller--(French) last resort]
Much satisfied at having come to this salutary resolution, he took up
his hat, and set out for the widow's, in order to put into operation
the first part of the scheme. He rather wished it over, as he knew that
Mrs Kelly was no coward, and had a strong tongue in her head. However,
it must be done, and the sooner the better. He first of all looked
at himself in his glass, to see that his appearance was sufficiently
haughty and indignant, and, as he flattered himself, like that of a
gentleman singularly out of his element in such a village as Dunmore;
and then, having ordered his dinner to be ready on his return, he
proceeded on his voyage for the recovery of his dear sister.
Entering the shop, he communicated his wishes to Meg, in the manner
before described; and, while she was gone on her errand, he remained
alone there, lashing his boot, in the most approved, but, still, in a
very common-place manner.
"Oh, mother!" said Meg, rushing into the room where her mother, and
Jane, and Anty, were at dinner, "there's Barry Lynch down in the shop,
"Oh my!" said Jane. "Now sit still, Anty dear, and he can't come near
you. Shure, he'll niver be afther coming upstairs, will he, Meg?"
Anty, who had begun to feel quite happy in her new quarters, and among
her kind friends, turned pale, and dropped her knife and fork. "What'll
I do, Mrs Kelly?" she said, as she saw the old lady complacently get
up. "You're not going to give me up? You'll not go to him?"
"Faith I will thin, my dear," replied the widow; "never fear else--I'll
go to him, or any one else that sends to me in a dacent manner. May-be
it's wanting tay in the shop he is. I'll go to him immediately. But,
as for giving you up, I mane you to stay here, till you've a proper
home of your own; and Barry Lynch has more in him than I think, av' he
makes me alter my mind. Set down quiet, Meg, and get your dinner." And
the widow got up, and proceeded to the shop.
The girls were all in commotion. One went to the door at the top of the
stairs, to overhear as much as possible of what was to take place; and
the other clasped Anty's hand, to re-assure her, having first thrown
open the door of one of the bed-rooms, that she might have a place of
retreat in the event of the enemy succeeding in pushing his way
"Your humble sarvant, Mr Lynch," said the widow, entering the shop and
immediately taking up a position of strength in her accustomed place
behind the counter. "Were you wanting me, this evening?" and she
took up the knife with which she cut penn'orths of tobacco for her
customers, and hitting the counter with its wooden handle looked as
hard as copper, and as bold as brass.
"Yes, Mrs Kelly," said Barry, with as much dignity as he could muster,
"I do want to speak to you. My sister has foolishly left her home this
morning, and my servants tell me she is under your roof. Is this true?"
"Is it Anty? Indeed she is thin: ating her dinner, upstairs, this very
moment;" and she rapped the counter again, and looked her foe in the
"Then, with your leave, Mrs Kelly, I'll step up, and speak to her. I
suppose she's alone?"
"Indeed she ain't thin, for she's the two girls ating wid her, and
myself too, barring that I'm just come down at your bidding. No; we're
not so bad as that, to lave her all alone; and as for your seeing her,
Mr Lynch, I don't think she's exactly wishing it at present; so, av'
you've a message, I'll take it."
"You don't mean to say that Miss Lynch--my sister--is in this inn, and
that you intend to prevent my seeing her? You'd better take care what
you're doing, Mrs Kelly. I don't want to say anything harsh at present,
but you'd better take care what you're about with me and my family, or
you'll find yourself in a scrape that you little bargain for."
"I'll take care of myself, Mr Barry; never fear for me, darling; and,
what's more, I'll take care of your sister, too. And, to give you a
bit of my mind--she'll want my care, I'm thinking, while you're in the
"I've not come here to listen to impertinence, Mrs Kelly, and I will
not do so. In fact, it is very unwillingly that I came into this house
"Oh, pray lave it thin, pray lave it! We can do without you."
"Perhaps you will have the civility to listen to me. It is very
unwillingly, I say, that I have come here at all; but my sister, who
is, unfortunately, not able to judge for herself, is here. How she came
here I don't pretend to say--"
"Oh, she walked," said the widow, interrupting him; "she walked, quiet
and asy, out of your door, and into mine. But that's a lie, for it was
out of her own. She didn't come through the kay-hole, nor yet out of
"I'm saying nothing about how she came here, but here she is, poor
"Poor crature, indeed! She was like to be a poor crature, av' she
stayed up there much longer."
"Here she is, I say, and I consider it my duty to look after her. You
cannot but be aware, Mrs Kelly, that this is not a fit place for Miss
Lynch. You must be aware that a road-side public-house, however decent,
or a village shop, however respectable, is not the proper place for my
sister; and, though I may not yet be legally her guardian, I am her
brother, and am in charge of her property, and I insist on seeing her.
It will be at your peril if you prevent me."
"Have you done, now, Misther Barry?"
"That's what I've got to say; and I think you've sense enough to see
the folly--not to speak of the danger, of preventing me from seeing my
"That's your say, Misther Lynch; and now, listen to mine. Av' Miss
Anty was wishing to see you, you'd be welcome upstairs, for her sake;
but she ain't, so there's an end of that; for not a foot will you put
inside this, unless you're intending to force your way, and I don't
think you'll be for trying that. And as to bearing the danger, why,
I'll do my best; and, for all the harm you're likely to do me--that's
by fair manes,--I don't think I'll be axing any one to help me out of
it. So, good bye t' ye, av' you've no further commands, for I didn't
yet well finish the bit I was ating."
"And you mean to say, Mrs Kelly, you'll take upon yourself to prevent
my seeing my sister?"
"Indeed I do; unless she was wishing it, as well as yourself; and no
"And you'll do that, knowing, as you do, that the unfortunate young
woman is of weak mind, and unable to judge for herself, and that I'm
her brother, and her only living relative and guardian?"
"All blathershin, Masther Barry," said the uncourteous widow, dropping
the knife from her hand, and smacking her fingers: "as for wake mind,
it's sthrong enough to take good care of herself and her money too,
now she's once out of Dunmore House. There many waker than Anty Lynch,
though few have had worse tratement to make them so. As for guardian,
I'm thinking it's long since she was of age, and, av' her father
didn't think she wanted one, when he made his will, you needn't bother
yourself about it, now she's no one to plaze only herself. And as for
brother, Masther Barry, why didn't you think of that before you struck
her, like a brute, as you are--before you got dhrunk, like a baste, and
then threatened to murdher her? Why didn't you think about brother and
sisther before you thried to rob the poor _wake_ crature, as you call
her; and when you found she wasn't quite wake enough, as you call it,
swore to have her life, av' she wouldn't act at your bidding? That's
being a brother and a guardian, is it, Masther Barry? Talk to me of
danger, you ruffian," continued the widow, with her back now thoroughly
up; "you'd betther look to yourself, or I know who'll be in most
danger. Av' it wasn't the throuble it'd be to Anty,--and, God knows,
she's had throubles enough, I'd have had her before the magisthrates
before this, to tell of what was done last night up at the house,
yonder. But mind, she can do it yet, and, av' you don't take yourself
very asy, she shall. Danger, indeed! a robber and ruffian like you, to
talk of danger to me--and his _dear_ sisther, too, and aftimer trying
his best, last night, to murdher her!"
These last words, with a long drawl on the word _dear_, were addressed
rather to the crowd, whom the widow's loud voice had attracted into the
open shop, than to Barry, who stood, during this tirade, half stupefied
with rage, and half frightened, at the open attack made on him with
reference to his ill-treatment of Anty. However, he couldn't pull in
his horns now, and he was obliged, in self-defence, to brazen it out.
"Very well, Mrs Kelly--you shall pay for this impudence, and that
dearly. You've invented these lies, as a pretext for getting my sister
and her property into your hands!"
"Lies!" screamed the widow; "av' you say lies to me agin, in this
house, I'll smash the bones of ye myself, with the broom-handle.
Lies, indeed! and from you, Barry Lynch, the biggest liar in all
Connaught--not to talk of robber and ruffian! You'd betther take
yourself out of that, fair and asy, while you're let. You'll find
you'll have the worst of it, av' you come rampaging here wid me, my
man;" and she turned round to the listening crowd for sympathy, which
those who dared were not slow in giving her.
"And that's thrue for you, Mrs Kelly, Ma'am," exclaimed one.
"It's a shame for him to come storming here, agin a lone widdy, so it
is," said a virago, who seemed well able, like the widow herself, to
take her own part.
"Who iver knew any good of a Lynch--barring Miss Anty herself?" argued
"The Kellys is always too good for the likes of them," put in a fourth,
presuming that the intended marriage was the subject immediately in
"Faix, Mr Martin's too good for the best of 'em," declared another.
"Niver mind Mr Martin, boys," said the widow, who wasn't well pleased
to have her son's name mentioned in the affair--"it's no business of
his, one way or another; he ain't in Dunmore, nor yet nigh it. Miss
Anty Lynch has come to me for protection; and, by the Blessed Virgin,
she shall have it, as long as my name's Mary Kelly, and I ain't like
to change it; so that's the long and short of it, Barry Lynch. So you
may go and get dhrunk agin as soon as you plaze, and bate and bang
Terry Rooney, or Judy Smith; only I think either on 'em's more than
a match for you."
"Then I tell you, Mrs Kelly," replied Barry, who was hardly able to
get in a word, "that you'll hear more about it. Steps are now being
taken to prove Miss Lynch a lunatic, as every one here knows she
unfortunately is; and, as sure as you stand there, you'll have to
answer for detaining her; and you're much mistaken if you think you'll
get hold of her property, even though she were to marry your son, for,
I warn you, she's not her own mistress, or able to be so."
"Drat your impudence, you low-born ruffian," answered his opponent;
"who cares for her money? It's not come to that yet, that a Kelly is
wanting to schame money out of a Lynch."
"I've nothing more to say, since you insist on keeping possession of
my sister," and Barry turned to the door. "But you'll be indicted for
conspiracy, so you'd better be prepared."
"Conspiracy, is it?" said one of Mrs Kelly's admirers; "maybe, Ma'am,
he'll get you put in along with Dan and Father Tierney, God bless them!
It's conspiracy they're afore the judges for."
Barry now took himself off, before hearing the last of the widow's
final peal of thunder.
"Get out wid you! You're no good, and never will be. An' it wasn't for
the young woman upstairs, I'd have the coat off your back, and your
face well mauled, before I let you out of the shop!" And so ended the
interview, in which the anxious brother can hardly be said to have been
triumphant, or successful.
The widow, on the other hand, seemed to feel that she had acquitted
herself well, and that she had taken the orphan's part, like a woman,
a Christian, and a mother; and merely saying, with a kind of inward
chuckle, "Come to me, indeed, with his roguery! he's got the wrong pig
by the ear!" she walked off, to join the more timid trio upstairs, one
of whom was speedily sent down, to see that business did not go astray.
And then she gave a long account of the interview to Anty and Meg,
which was hardly necessary, as they had heard most of what had passed.
The widow however was not to know that, and she was very voluble in her
description of Barry's insolence, and of the dreadfully abusive things
he had said to her--how he had given her the lie, and called her out of
her name. She did not, however, seem to be aware that she had, herself,
said a word which was more than necessarily violent; and assured Anty
over and over again, that, out of respect to her feelings, and because
the man was, after all, her brother, she had refrained from doing and
saying what she would have done and said, had she been treated in
such a manner by anybody else. She seemed, however, in spite of the
ill-treatment which she had undergone, to be in a serene and happy
state of mind. She shook Anty's two hands in hers, and told her to make
herself "snug and asy where she was, like a dear girl, and to fret
for nothing, for no one could hurt or harum her, and she undher Mary
Kelly's roof." Then she wiped her face in her apron, set to at her
dinner; and even went so far as to drink a glass of porter, a thing she
hadn't done, except on a Sunday, since her eldest daughter's marriage.
Barry Lynch sneaked up the town, like a beaten dog. He felt that the
widow had had the best of it, and he also felt that every one in
Dunmore was against him. It was however only what he had expected, and
calculated upon; and what should he care for the Dunmore people? They
wouldn't rise up and kill him, nor would they be likely even to injure
him. Let them hate on, he would follow his own plan. As he came near
the house gate, there was sitting, as usual, Jacky, the fool.
"Well, yer honer, Masther Barry," said Jacky, "don't forget your poor
fool this blessed morning!"
"Away with you! If I see you there again, I'll have you in Bridewell,
"Ah, you're joking, Masther Barry. You wouldn't like to be afther doing
that. So yer honer's been down to the widdy's? That's well; it's a
fine thing to see you on good terms, since you're soon like to be so
sib. Well, there an't no betther fellow, from this to Galway, than
Martin Kelly, that's one comfort, Masther Barry."
Barry looked round for something wherewith to avenge himself for this,
but Jacky was out of his reach; so he merely muttered some customary
but inaudible curses, and turned into the house.
He immediately took pen, ink, and paper, and, writing the following
note dispatched it to Tuam, by Terry, mounted for the occasion, and
directed on no account to return without an answer. If Mr Daly wasn't
at home, he was to wait for his return; that is, if he was expected
home that night.
Dunmore House, Feb. 1844.
My dear Sir,
I wish to consult you on legal business, which will _bear no
delay_. The subject is of considerable importance, and I am
induced to think it will be more ably handled by you than by
Mr Blake, my father's man of business. There is a bed at your
service at Dunmore House, and I shall be glad to see you to
I am, dear Sir, Your faithful servant,
P.S.--You had better not mention in Tuam that you are coming
to me,--not that my business is one that I intend to keep
J. Daly, Esq., Solicitor, Tuam.
In about two hours' time, Terry had put the above into the hands of the
person for whom it was intended, and in two more he had brought back an
answer, saying that Mr Daly would be at Dunmore House to dinner on the
following day. And Terry, on his journey there and back, did not forget
to tell everyone he saw, from whom he came, and to whom he was going.
VIII. MR MARTIN KELLY RETURNS TO DUNMORE
We will now return to Martin Kelly. I have before said that as soon
as he had completed his legal business,--namely, his instructions for
the settlement of Anty Lynch's property, respecting which he and Lord
Ballindine had been together to the lawyer's in Clare Street,--he
started for home, by the Ballinasloe canal-boat, and reached that
famous depot of the fleecy tribe without adventure. I will not attempt
to describe the tedium of that horrid voyage, for it has been often
described before; and to Martin, who was in no ways fastidious, it
was not so unendurable as it must always be to those who have been
accustomed to more rapid movement. Nor yet will I attempt to put on
record the miserable resources of those, who, doomed to a twenty hours'
sojourn in one of these floating prisons, vainly endeavour to occupy
or amuse their minds. But I will advise any, who from ill-contrived
arrangements, or unforeseen misfortune,  may find themselves on
board the Ballinasloe canal-boat, to entertain no such vain dream.
The _vis inertiae_  of patient endurance, is the only weapon of any
use in attempting to overcome the lengthened ennui of this most tedious
transit. Reading is out of the question. I have tried it myself, and
seen others try it, but in vain. The sense of the motion, almost
imperceptible, but still perceptible; the noises above you; the smells
around you; the diversified crowd, of which you are a part; at one
moment the heat this crowd creates; at the next, the draught which
a window just opened behind your ears lets in on you; the fumes of
punch; the snores of the man under the table; the noisy anger of his
neighbour, who reviles the attendant sylph; the would-be witticisms of
a third, who makes continual amorous overtures to the same overtasked
damsel, notwithstanding the publicity of his situation; the loud
complaints of the old lady near the door, who cannot obtain the
gratuitous kindness of a glass of water; and the baby-soothing
lullabies of the young one, who is suckling her infant under your
elbow. These things alike prevent one from reading, sleeping, or
thinking. All one can do is to wait till the long night gradually wears
itself away, and reflect that,
Time and the hour run through the longest day .
[FOOTNOTE 15: Of course it will be remembered that this was
written before railways in Ireland had been
constructed. (original footnote by Trollope)]
[FOOTNOTE 16: vis inertiae--(Latin) the power of inertia]
[FOOTNOTE 17: _Macbeth_, Act I, Sc. 3: "Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day."]
I hardly know why a journey in one of these boats should be much more
intolerable than travelling either outside or inside a coach; for,
either in or on the coach, one has less room for motion, and less
opportunity of employment. I believe the misery of the canal-boat
chiefly consists in a pre-conceived and erroneous idea of its
capabilities. One prepares oneself for occupation--an attempt is made
to achieve actual comfort--and both end in disappointment; the limbs
become weary with endeavouring to fix themselves in a position of
repose, and the mind is fatigued more by the search after, than the
want of, occupation.
Martin, however, made no complaints, and felt no misery. He made great
play at the eternal half-boiled leg of mutton, floating in a bloody sea
of grease and gravy, which always comes on the table three hours after
the departure from Porto Bello. He, and others equally gifted with
the _dura ilia messorum_ , swallowed huge collops  of the raw
animal, and vast heaps of yellow turnips, till the pity with which a
stranger would at first be inclined to contemplate the consumer of such
unsavoury food, is transferred to the victim who has to provide the
meal at two shillings a head. Neither love nor drink--and Martin had,
on the previous day, been much troubled with both--had affected his
appetite; and he ate out his money with the true persevering prudence
of a Connaught man, who firmly determines not to be done.
[FOOTNOTE 18: dura ilia messorum--(Latin) the strong intestines
of reapers--a quotation from Horace's _Epodes_ III.
Trollope was an accomplished Latin scholar and later
wrote a _Life of Cicero_. His books are full of
quotations from many Roman writers.]
[FOOTNOTE 19: collops--portions of food or slices of meat]
He was equally diligent at breakfast; and, at last, reached
Ballinasloe, at ten o'clock the morning after he had left Dublin, in a
flourishing condition. From thence he travelled, by Bianconi's car, as
far as Tuam, and when there he went at once to the hotel, to get a hack
car to take him home to Dunmore.
In the hotel yard he found a car already prepared for a journey;
and, on giving his order for a similar vehicle for his own use, was
informed, by the disinterested ostler, that the horse then being
harnessed, was to take Mr Daly, the attorney, to Tuam,  and that
probably that gentleman would not object to join him, Martin, in the
conveyance. Martin, thinking it preferable to pay fourpence rather than
sixpence a mile for his jaunt, acquiesced in this arrangement, and, as
he had a sort of speaking acquaintance with Mr Daly, whom he rightly
imagined would not despise the economy which actuated himself, he had
his carpet-bag put into the well of the car, and, placing himself on
it, he proceeded to the attorney's door.
[FOOTNOTE 20: The text says "Tuam," but the destination is
He soon made the necessary explanation to Mr Daly, who made no
objection to the proposal; and he also throwing a somewhat diminutive
carpet-bag into the same well, placed himself alongside of our friend,
and they proceeded on their journey, with the most amicable feelings
towards each other.
They little guessed, either the one or the other, as they commenced
talking on the now all-absorbing subject of the great trial, that they
were going to Dunmore for the express object--though not with the
expressed purpose, of opposing each other--that Daly was to be employed
to suggest any legal means for robbing Martin of a wife, and Anty
of her property; and that Martin was going home with the fixed
determination of effecting a wedding, to prevent which his companion
was, in consideration of liberal payment, to use all his ingenuity and
When they had discussed O'Connel and his companions, and their chances
of liberation for four or five miles, and when Martin had warmly
expressed his assurance that no jury could convict the saviours of
their country, and Daly had given utterance to his legal opinion that
saltpetre couldn't save them from two years in Newgate, Martin asked
his companion whether he was going beyond Dunmore that night?
"No, indeed, then," replied Daly; "I have a client there now--a thing I
never had in that part of the country before yesterday."
"We'll have you at the inn, then, I suppose, Mr Daly?"
"Faith, you won't, for I shall dine on velvet. My new client is one
of the right sort, that can feed as well as fee a lawyer. I've got my
dinner, and bed tonight, whatever else I may get."
"There's not many of that sort in Dunmore thin; any way, there weren't
when I left it, a week since. Whose house are you going to, Mr Daly,
av' it's not impertinent asking?"
"Barry Lynch's!" re-echoed Martin; "the divil you are! I wonder what's
in the wind with him now. I thought Blake always did his business?"
"The devil a know I know, so I can't tell you; and if I did, I
shouldn't, you may be sure. But a man that's just come to his property
always wants a lawyer; and many a one, besides Barry Lynch, ain't
satisfied without two."
"Well, any way, I wish you joy of your new client. I'm not over fond of
him myself, I'll own; but then there were always rasons why he and I
shouldn't pull well together. Barry's always been a dale too high for
me, since he was at school with the young lord. Well, good evening, Mr
Daly. Never mind time car coming down the street, as you're at your
friend's gate," and Martin took his bag on his arm, and walked down to
Though Martin couldn't guess, as he walked quickly down the street,
what Barry Lynch could want with young Daly, who was beginning to be
known as a clever, though not over-scrupulous practitioner, he felt a
presentiment that it must have some reference to Anty and himself, and
this made him rather uncomfortable. Could Barry have heard of his
engagement? Had Anty repented of her bargain, during his short absence?
Had that old reptile Moylan, played him false, and spoilt his game?
"That must be it," said Martin to himself, "and it's odd but I'll be
even with the schamer, yet; only she's so asy frightened!--Av' she'd
the laist pluck in life, it's little I'd care for Moylan or Barry
This little soliloquy brought him to the inn door. Some of the tribe of
loungers who were always hanging about the door, and whom in her hatred
of idleness the widow would one day rout from the place, and, in her
charity, feed the next, had seen Martin coming down the street, and had
given intelligence in the kitchen. As he walked in, therefore, at the
open door, Meg and Jane were ready to receive him in the passage. Their
looks were big with some important news. Martin soon saw that they had
something to tell.
"Well, girls," he said, as he chucked his bag and coat to Sally, "for
heaven's sake get me something to ate, for I'm starved. What's the
news at Dunmore?"
"It's you should have the news thin," said one, "and you just from
"There's lots of news there, then; I'll tell you when I've got my
dinner. How's the ould lady?" and he stepped on, as if to pass by
"Stop a moment, Martin," said Meg; "don't be in a hurry; there's some
"Who's there? is it a stranger?"
"Why, then, it is, and it isn't," said Jane.
"But you don't ask afther the young lady!" said her sister.
"May I be hanged thin, av' I know what the two of ye are afther! Is
there people in both the rooms? Come, girls, av' ye've anything to
tell, why don't you out wid it and have done? I suppose I can go into
the bed-room, at any rate?"
"Aisy, Martin, and I'll tell you. Anty's in the parlour."
"In the parlour upstairs?" said he; "the deuce she is! And what brought
her here? Did she quarrel with Barry, Meg?" added he, in a whisper.
"Indeed she did, out and out," said Meg.
"Oh, he used her horrible!" said Jane.
"He'll hear all about that by and by," said Meg. "Come up and see her
"But does mother know she's here?"
"Why, it was she brought her here! She fetched her down from the house,
yesterday, before we was up."
Thus assured that Anty had not been smuggled upstairs, her lover, or
suitor as he might perhaps be more confidently called, proceeded to
visit her. If he wished her to believe that his first impulse, on
hearing of her being in the house, had been to throw himself at her
feet, it would have been well that this conversation should have been
carried on out of her hearing. But Anty was not an exigent mistress,
and was perfectly contented that as much of her recent history as
possible should be explained before Martin presented himself.
Martin went slowly upstairs, and paused a moment at the door, as if he
was a little afraid of commencing the interview; he looked round to his
sisters, and made a sign to them to come in with him, and then, quickly
pushing open the unfastened door, walked briskly up to Anty and shook
hands with her.
"I hope you're very well, Anty," said he; "seeing you here is what I
didn't expect, but I'm very glad you've come down."
"Thank ye, Martin," replied she; "it was very good of your mother,
fetching me. She's been the best friend I've had many a day."
"Begad, it's a fine thing to see you and the ould lady pull so well
together. It was yesterday you came here?"
"Yesterday morning. I was so glad to come! I don't know what they'd
been saying to Barry; but the night before last he got drinking, and
then he was very bad to me, and tried to frighten me, and so, you see,
I come down to your mother till we could be friends again."
Anty's apology for being at the inn, was perhaps unnecessary; but, with
the feeling so natural to a woman, she was half afraid that Martin
would fancy she had run after him, and she therefore thought it as well
to tell him that it was only a temporary measure. Poor Anty! At the
moment she said so, she trembled at the very idea of putting herself
again in her brother's power.
"Frinds, indeed!" said Meg; "how can you iver be frinds with the like
of him? What nonsense you talk, Anty! Why, Martin, he was like to
murdher her!--he raised his fist to her, and knocked her down--and,
afther that, swore to her he'd kill her outright av' she wouldn't sware
that she'd niver--"
"Whist, Meg! How can you go on that way?" said Anty, interrupting her,
and blushing. "I'll not stop in the room; don't you know he was dhrunk
when he done all that?"
"And won't he be dhrunk again, Anty?" suggested Jane.
"Shure he will: he'll be dhrunk always, now he's once begun," replied
Meg, who, of all the family was the most anxious to push her brother's
suit; and who, though really fond of her friend, thought the present
opportunity a great deal too good to be thrown away, and could not bear
the idea of Anty's even thinking of being reconciled to her brother.
"Won't he be always dhrunk now?" she continued; "and ain't we all
frinds here? and why shouldn't you let me tell Martin all? Afther
all's said and done, isn't he the best frind you've got?"--Here Anty
blushed very red, and to tell the truth, so did Martin too--"well so he
is, and unless you tell him what's happened, how's he to know what to
advise; and, to tell the truth, wouldn't you sooner do what he says
than any one else?"
"I'm sure I'm very much obliged to Mr Martin"--it had been plain Martin
before Meg's appeal; "but your mother knows what's best for me, and
I'll do whatever she says. Av' it hadn't been for her, I don't know
where I'd be now."
"But you needn't quarrel with Martin because you're frinds with
mother," answered Meg.
"Nonsense, Meg," said Jane, "Anty's not going to quarrel with him. You
hurry her too much."
Martin looked rather stupid all this time, but he plucked up courage
and said, "Who's going to quarrel? I'm shure, Anty, you and I won't;
but, whatever it is Barry did to you, I hope you won't go back there
again, now you're once here. But did he railly sthrike you in arnest?"
"He did, and knocked her down," said Jane.
"But won't you get your brother his dinner?" said Anty; "he must be
very hungry, afther his ride--and won't you see your mother afther your
journey, Mr Martin? I'm shure she's expecting you."
This, for the present, put an end to the conversation; the girls went
to get something for their brother to eat, and he descended into the
lower regions to pay his filial respects to his mother.
A considerable time passed before Martin returned to the meal the
three young women had provided for him, during which he was in close
consultation with the widow. In the first place, she began upbraiding
him for his folly in wishing to marry an old maid for her money; she
then taxed him with villany, for trying to cheat Anty out of her
property; and when he defended himself from that charge by telling her
what he had done about the settlement, she asked him how much he had to
pay the rogue of a lawyer for that "gander's job". She then proceeded
to point out all the difficulties which lay in the way of a marriage
between him, Martin, and her, Anty; and showed how mad it was for
either of them to think about it. From that, she got into a narrative
of Barry's conduct, and Anty's sufferings, neither of which lost
anything in the telling; and having by this time gossiped herself
into a good humour, she proceeded to show how, through her means and
assistance, the marriage might take place if he was still bent upon
it. She eschewed all running away, and would hear of no clandestine
proceedings. They should be married in the face of day, as the
Kellys ought, with all their friends round them. "They'd have no
huggery-muggery work, up in a corner; not they indeed! why should
they?--for fear of Barry Lynch?--who cared for a dhrunken blackguard
like that?--not she indeed! who ever heard of a Kelly being afraid of a
Lynch?--They'd ax him to come and see his sister married, and av' he
didn't like it, he might do the other thing."
And so, the widow got quite eloquent on the glories of the wedding, and
the enormities of her son's future brother-in-law, who had, she assured
Martin, come down and abused her horribly, in her own shop, before all
the town, because she allowed Anty to stay in the house. She then
proceeded to the consequences of the marriage, and expressed her hope
that when Martin got all that ready money he would "do something for
his poor sisthers--for Heaven knew they war like to be bad enough off,
for all she'd be able to do for them!" From this she got to Martin's
own future mode of life, suggesting a "small snug cottage on the farm,
just big enough for them two, and, may-be, a slip of a girl servant,
and not to be taring and tatthering away, as av' money had no eend;
and, afther all," she added, "there war nothing like industhry; and who
know'd whether that born villain, Barry, mightn't yet get sich a hoult
of the money, that there'd be no getting it out of his fist?" and she
then depicted, in most pathetic language, what would be the misery of
herself and all the Kellys if Martin, flushed with his prosperity, were
to give up the farm at Toneroe, and afterwards find that he had been
robbed of his expected property, and that he had no support for himself
and his young bride.
On this subject Martin considerably comforted her by assuring her that
he had no thoughts of abandoning Toneroe, although he did not go so far
as to acquiesce in the very small cottage; and he moreover expressed
his thorough confidence that he would neither be led himself, nor lead
Anty, into the imprudence of a marriage, until he had well satisfied
himself that the property was safe.
The widow was well pleased to find, from Martin's prudent resolves,
that he was her own son, and that she needn't blush for him; and then
they parted, she to her shop, and he to his dinner: not however, before
he had promised her to give up all ideas of a clandestine marriage, and
to permit himself to be united to his wife in the face of day, as
became a Kelly.
The evening passed over quietly and snugly at the inn. Martin had not
much difficulty in persuading his three companions to take a glass
of punch each out of his tumbler, and less in getting them to take a
second, and, before they went to bed, he and Anty were again intimate.
And, as he was sitting next her for a couple of hours on the little
sofa opposite the fire, it is more than probable that he got his arm
round her waist--a comfortable position, which seemed in no way to
shock the decorum of either Meg or Jane.
IX. MR DALY, THE ATTORNEY
We must now see how things went on in the enemy's camp.
The attorney drove up to the door of Dunmore House on his car, and was
shown into the drawing-room, where he met Barry Lynch. The two young
men were acquainted, though not intimate with each other, and they
bowed, and then shook hands; and Barry told the attorney that he was
welcome to Dunmore House, and the attorney made another bow, rubbed his
hands before the fire and said it was a very cold evening; and Barry
said it was 'nation cold for that time of the year; which, considering
that they were now in the middle of February, showed that Barry was
rather abroad, and didn't exactly know what to say. He remained for
about a minute, silent before the fire, and then asked Daly if he'd
like to see his room; and, the attorney acquiescing, he led him up to
it, and left him there.
The truth was, that, as the time of the man's visit had drawn nearer,
Barry had become more and more embarrassed; and now that the attorney
had absolutely come, his employer felt himself unable to explain the
business before dinner. "These fellows are so confoundedly sharp--I
shall never be up to him till I get a tumbler of punch on board," said
he to himself, comforting himself with the reflection; "besides, I'm
never well able for anything till I get a little warmed. We'll get
along like a house on fire when we've got the hot water between us."
The true meaning of all which was, that he hadn't the courage to make
known his villanous schemes respecting his sister till he was half
drunk; and, in order the earlier to bring about this necessary and now
daily consummation, he sneaked downstairs and took a solitary glass of
brandy to fortify himself for entertaining the attorney.
The dinner was dull enough; for, of course, as long as the man was in
the room there was no talking on business, and, in his present frame of
mind Barry was not likely to be an agreeable companion. The attorney
ate his dinner as if it was a part of the fee, received in payment of
the work he was to do, and with a determination to make the most of it.
At last, the dishes disappeared, and with them Terry Rooney; who,
however, like a faithful servant, felt too strong an interest in his
master's affairs to be very far absent when matters of importance were
likely to be discussed.
"And now, Mr Daly," said Lynch, "we can be snug here, without
interruption, for an hour or two. You'll find that whiskey old and
good, I think; but, if you prefer wine, that port on the table came
from Barton's, in Sackville Street."
"Thank ye; if I take anything, it'll be a glass of punch. But as we've
business to talk of, may-be I'd better keep my head clear."
"My head's never so clear then, as when I've done my second tumbler.
I'm never so sure of what I'm about as when I'm a little warmed;
'but,' says you, 'because my head's strong, it's no reason another's
shouldn't be weak:' but do as you like; liberty hall here now, Mr Daly;
that is, as far as I'm concerned. You knew my father, I believe, Mr
"Well then, Mr Lynch, I didn't exactly know him; but living so near
him, and he having so much business in the county, and myself having
a little, I believe I've been in company with him, odd times."
"He was a queer man: wasn't he, Mr Daly?"
"Was he, then? I dare say. I didn't know much about him. I'll take the
sugar from you, Mr Lynch; I believe I might as well mix a drop, as the
"That's right. I thought you weren't the fellow to sit with an empty
glass before you. But, as I was saying before, the old boy was a queer
hand; that is, latterly--for the last year or so. Of course you know
all about his will?"
"Faith then, not much. I heard he left a will, dividing the property
between you and Miss Lynch."
"He did! Just at the last moment, when the breath wasn't much more than
left in him, he signed a will, making away half the estate, just as you
say, to my sister. Blake could have broke the will, only he was so
d---- pig-headed and stupid. It's too late now, I suppose?"
"Why, I could hardly answer that, you know, as I never heard the
circumstances; but I was given to understand that Blake consulted
McMahon; and that McMahon wouldn't take up the case, as there was
nothing he could put before the Chancellor. Mind I'm only repeating
what people said in Tuam, and about there. Of course, I couldn't think
of advising till I knew the particulars. Was it on this subject, Mr
Lynch, you were good enough to send for me?"
"Not at all, Mr Daly. I look upon that as done and gone; bad luck to
Blake and McMahon, both. The truth is, between you and me, Daly--I
don't mind telling you; as I hope now you will become my man of
business, and it's only fair you should know all about it--the truth
is, Blake was more interested on the other side, and he was determined
the case shouldn't go before the Chancellor. But, when my father signed
that will, it was just after one of those fits he had lately; that
could be proved, and he didn't know what he was doing, from Adam! He
didn't know what was in the will, nor, that he was signing a will at
all; so help me, he didn't. However, that's over. It wasn't to talk
about that that I sent for you; only, sorrow seize the rogue that made
the old man rob me! It wasn't Anty herself, poor creature; she knew
nothing about it; it was those who meant to get hold of my money,
through her, that did it. Poor Anty! Heaven knows she wasn't up to such
a dodge as that!"
"Well, Mr Lynch, of course I know nothing of the absolute facts; but
from what I hear, I think it's as well to let the will alone. The
Chancellor won't put a will aside in a hurry; it's always a difficult
job--would cost an immense sum of money, which should, any way, come
out of the property; and, after all, the chances are ten to one you'd
"Perhaps you're right, now; though I'm sure, had the matter been
properly taken up at first--had you seen the whole case at the first
start, the thing could have been done. I'm sure you would have said so;
but that's over now; it's another business I want you for. But you
don't drink your punch!--and it's dry work talking, without wetting
one's whistle," and Barry carried out his own recommendation.
"I'm doing very well, thank ye, Mr Lynch. And what is it I can do for
"That's what I'm coming to. You know that, by the will, my sister Anty
gets from four to five hundred a year?"
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