The Kellys and the O'Kellys
Part 2 out of 10
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
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
'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
'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 Kelly.'
'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 marry him?'
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 tad 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 my leave?'
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, tomorrow, 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 me.'
'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
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 reach.
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 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 done.
'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
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 the
'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 were
'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
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 back again.'
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 one.'
'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
laying 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
'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
corned 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 blackguard!'
'Don't be cursing, Biddy.'
'No, ma'am; only he must be cursed, sooner or later. Well, when she corned
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;' 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
'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 nothing.
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
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
'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 no time.'
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.'
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 interruption.
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 nobody.'
'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 territories. 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
'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
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 on him.
'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 hotier afther that.'
'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 retreated.
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
'Faix, it's he'll be mad thin, when lie finds she's taken up with the likes
of the widdy Kelly!'
'And ain't she betther there, nor being murthered up here? FIe'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 thain 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
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 her.
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 book.'
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 lie 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, lie 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 £200 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 cafés 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 him.
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.
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
'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, wanting
'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'Il 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. Maybe 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 upstairs.
'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
'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 face.
'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 counthry.'
'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 at all.'
'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 the window.'
'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 sister.'
'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 anger, 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
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
'Who iver knew any good of a Lynch barring Miss Anty herself?' argued a
'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 Hooney, 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 he said to have been triumphant, or
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; anti 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 time 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 he likely even to injure him. Let, them hate on,
lie 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, you
'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
timing 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 dinner tomorrow.
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 secret.
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, [FOOTNOTE: Of course
it will be remembered that this was written before railways in Ireland had
been constructed.] 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.
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
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
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.
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 energy.
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 the inn.
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 either.'
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
'It's you should have the news thin,' said one, 'and you just from Dublin.'
'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 them, upstairs.
'Stop a moment, Martin,' said Meg; 'don't be in a hurry; there's some one
'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 now,
'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
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
'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
'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
'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 dhrurik 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
'But you needn't quarrel with Martin because you're frinds with mother,'
'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, add 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
And so, the widow got quite eloquent on the glories of the wedding, and the
enormities of her son's future brother-in-1aw, 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, maybe, 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
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
'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
'Thank ye; if I take anything, it'll be a glass of punch. But as we've
business to talk of, maybe 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 Daly?'
'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
'Faith then, not much. I heard lie 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 be beat.'
'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 you?'
'That's what I'm coming to. You know that, by the will, my sister Anty gets
from four to five hundred a year?'
'I didn't know the amount; but I believe she has half whatever there is.'
'Exactly: half the land, half the cash, half the house, half everything,
except the debts! and those were contracted in my name, and I must pay them
all. Isn't that hard, Mr Daly?'
'I didn't know your father had debts.'
'Oh, but he had debts which ought to have been his; though, as I said, they
stand in my name, and I must pay them.'
'And, I suppose, what you now want is to saddle the debts on the entire
property? If you can really prove that the debts were incurred for your
father's benefit, I should think you might do that. But has your sister
refused to pay the half? They can't be heavy. Won't Miss Lynch agree to pay
the half herself?'
This last lie of Barry's for, to give the devil his due, old Sim hadn't
owed one penny for the last twenty years was only a bright invention of the
moment, thrown off by our injured hero to aggravate the hardships of his
case; but he was determined to make the most of it.
'Not heavy? faith, they are heavy, and d d heavy too, Mr Daly! what'll
take two hundred a-year out of my miserable share of the property; divil a
less. Oh! there's never any knowing how a man'll cut up till he's gone.'
'That's true; but how could your father owe such a sum as that, and no one
know it? Why, that must be four or five thousand pounds?'
'About five, I believe.'
'And you've put your name to them, isn't that it?'
'Something like it. You know, he and Lord Ballindine, years ago, were
fighting about the leases we held under the old Lord; and then, the old man
wanted ready money, and borrowed it in Dublin; and, some years since that
is, about three years ago, sooner than see any of the property sold, I took
up the debt myself. You know, it was all as good as my own then; and now,
confound it! I must pay the whole out of the miserable thing that's left me
under this infernal will. But it wasn't even about that I sent for you;
only, I must explain exactly how matters are, before I come to the real
'But your father's name must be joined with yours in the debt; and, if so,
you can come upon the entire property for the payment. There's no
difficulty about that; your sister, of course, must pay the half.'
'It's not so, my dear fellow. I can't explain the thing exactly, but it's I
that owe the money, and I must pay it. But it's no good talking of that.
Well, you see, Anty that's my sister, has this property all in her own
hands. But you don't drink your punch,' and Barry mixed his third tumbler.
'Of course she has; and, surely she won't refuse to pay half the claims on
'Never mind the claims!' answered Barry, who began to fear that he had
pushed his little invention a thought too far. 'I tell you, I must stand to
them; you don't suppose I'd ask her to pay a penny as a favour? No; I'm a
little too proud for that. Besides, it'd be no use, not the least; and
that's what I'm coming to. You see, Anty's got this money, and . You know,
don't you, Mr Daly, poor Anty's not just like other people?'
'No,' said Mr Daly ' I didn't. I can't say I know much about Miss Lynch. I
never had the pleasure of seeing her.'
'But did you never hear she wasn't quite right?'
'Indeed, I never did, then.'
'Well that's odd; but we never had it much talked about, poor creature.
Indeed, there was no necessity for people to know much about it, for she
never gave any trouble; and, to tell the truth, as long as she was kept
quiet, she never gave us occasion to think much about it. But, confound
them for rogues those who have got. hold of her now, have quite upset her.'
'But what is it ails your sister, Mr Lynch?'
'To have it out, at once, then she's not right in her upper story. Mind, I
don't mean she's a downright lunatic; but she's cracked, poor thing, and
quite unable to judge for herself, in money-matters, and such like; and,
though she might have done very well, poor thing, and passed without
notice, if she'd been left quiet, as was always intended, I'm afraid now,
unless she's well managed, she'd end her life in the Ballinasloe Asylum.'
The attorney made no answer to this, although Barry paused, to allow him to
do so. Daly was too sharp, and knew his employer's character too well to
believe all he said, and he now began to fancy that he saw what the
affectionate brother was after. 'Well, Daly,' continued Barry, after a
minute's pause; 'after the old man died, we went on quiet enough for some
time. I was up in Dublin mostly, about that confounded loan, and poor Anty
was left here by herself; and what should she do, but take up with a low
huxter's family in the town here.'
'That's bad,' said the attorney. 'Was there an unmarried young man among
them at all?'
'Faith there was so; as great a blackguard as there is in Connaught.'
'And Miss Lynch is going to marry him?'
'That's just it, Daly; that's what we must prevent. You know, for the sake
of the family, I couldn't let it go on. Then, poor creature, she'd be
plundered and ill-treated she'd be a downright idiot in no time; and, you
know, Daly, the property'd go to the devil; and where'd I be then?'
Daly couldn't help thinking that, in all probability, his kind host would
not be long in following the property; but he did not say so. He merely
asked the name of the 'blackguard' whom Miss Anty meant to marry?
'Wait till I tell you the whole of it. The first thing I heard was, that
Anty had made a low ruffian, named Moylan, her agent.'
'I know him; she couldn't have done much worse. Well?'
'She made him her agent without speaking to me, or telling me a word about
it; and I couldn't make out what had put it into her head, till I heard
that this old rogue was a kind of cousin to some people living here, named
'What, the widow, that keeps the inn?'
'The very same! confound her, for an impertinent scheming old hag, as she
is. Well; that's the house that Anty was always going to; drinking tea with
the daughters, and walking with the son an infernal young farmer, that
lives with them, the worst of the whole set.'
'What, Martin Kelly ? There's worse fellows than him, Mr Lynch.'
'I'll be hanged if I know them, then; but if there are, I don't choose my
poor sister only one remove from an idiot, and hardly that to be carried
off from her mother's house, and married to such a fellow as that. Why,
it's all the same infernal plot; it's the same people that got the old man
to sign the will, when he was past his senses!'
'Begad, they must have been clever to do that! How the deuce could .they
have got the will drawn?'
'I tell you, they did do it!' answered Barry, whose courage was now
somewhat raised by the whiskey. 'That's neither here nor there, but they
did it; and, when the old fool was dead, they got this Moylan made Anty's
agent: and then, the hag of a mother comes up here, before daylight, and
bribes the servant, and carries her off down to her filthy den, which she
calls an inn; and when I call to see my sister, I get nothing but insolence
'And when did this happen? When did Miss Lynch leave the house?'
'Yesterday morning, about four o'clock.'
'She went down of her own accord, though?'
'D l a bit. The old hag came up here, and filched her out of her bed.'
'But she couldn't have taken your sister away, unless she had wished to
'Of course she wished it; but a silly creature like her can't be let to do
all she wishes.. She wishes to get a husband, and doesn't care what sort of
a one she gets; but you don't suppose an old maid forty years old, who has
always been too stupid and foolish ever to be seen or spoken to, should be
allowed to throw away four hundred a-year, on the first robber that tries
to cheat her? You don't mean to say there isn't a law to prevent that?'
'I don't know how you'll prevent it, Mr Lynch. She's her own mistress.'
'What the d l! Do you mean to say there's nothing to prevent an idiot like
that from marrying?'
'If she was an idiot! But I think you'll find your sister has sense enough
to marry whom she pleases.'
'I tell you she is an idiot; not raving, mind; but everybody knows she was
never fit to manage anything.'
'Who'd prove it!'
'Why, I would. Divil a doubt of it! I could prove that she never could, all
'Ah, my dear Sir! you couldn't do it; nor could I advise you to try that
is, unless there were plenty more who could swear positively that she was
out of her mind. Would the servants swear that? Could you yourself, now,
positively swear that she was out of her mind?'
'Why she never had any mind to be out of.'
'Unless you are very sure she is, and, for a considerable time back, has
been, a confirmed lunatic, you'd be very wrong very ill-advised, I mean, Mr
Lynch, to try that game at all. Things would come out which you wouldn't
like; and your motives would be would be ' seen through at once, the
attorney was on the point of saying, but he stopped himself, and finished
by the words 'called in question'.
'And I'm to sit here, then, and see that young blackguard Kelly, run off
with what ought to be my own, and my sister into the bargain? I'm blessed
if I do! If you can't put me in the way of stopping it, I'll find those
'You're getting too much in a hurry, Mr Lynch. Is your sister at the inn
'To be sure she is.'
'And she is engaged to this young man?'
'Why, then, she might be married to him tomorrow, for anything you know.'
'She might, if he was here. But they tell me he's away, in Dublin.'
'If they told you so today, they told you wrong: he came into Dunmore, from
Tuam, on the same car with myself, this very afternoon.'
'What, Martin Kelly? Then he'll be off with her this night, while we're
sitting here!' and Barry jumped up, as if to rush out, and prevent the
immediate consummation of his worst fears.
'Stop a moment, Mr Lynch,' said the more prudent and more sober lawyer. 'If
they were off, you couldn't follow them; and, if you did follow and find
them, you couldn't prevent their being married, if such were their wish,
and they had a priest ready to do it. Take my advice; remain quiet where
you are, and let's talk the matter over. As for taking out a commission "de
lunatico", as we call it, you'll find you couldn't do it. Miss Lynch may be
a little weak or so in the upper story, but she's not a lunatic; and you
couldn't make her so, if you had half Dunmore to back you, because she'd be
brought before the Commissioners herself, and that, you know, would soon
settle the question. But you might still prevent the marriage, for a time,
at any rate at least, I think so; and, after that, you must trust to the
chapter of accidents.'
'So help me, that's all I want! If I got her once up here again, and was
sure the thing was off, for a month or so, let me alone, then, for bringing
her to reason!'
As Daly watched his comrade's reddening face, and saw the malicious gleam
of his eyes as he declared how easily he'd manage the affair, if poor Anty
was once more in the house, his heart misgave him, even though he was a
sharp attorney, at the idea of assisting such a cruel brute in his cruelty;
and, for a moment, he had determined to throw up the matter. Barry was so
unprincipled, and so wickedly malicious in his want of principle, that he
disgusted even Daly. But, on second thoughts, the lawyer remembered that if
he didn't do the job, another would; and, quieting his not very violent
qualms of conscience with the idea that, though employed by the brother, he
might also, to a certain extent, protect the sister, he proceeded to give
his advice as to the course which would be most likely to keep the property
out of the hands of the Kellys.
He explained to Barry that, as Anty had left her own home in company with
Martin's mother, and as she now was a guest at the widow's, it was unlikely
that any immediate clandestine marriage should be resorted to; that their
most likely course would be to brazen the matter out, and have the wedding
solemnised without any secrecy, and without any especial notice to him,
Barry. That, on the next morning, a legal notice should be prepared in
Tuam, and served on the widow, informing her that it was his intention to
indict her for conspiracy, in enticing away from her own home his sister
Anty, for the purpose of obtaining possession of her property, she being of
weak mind, and not able properly to manage her own affairs; that a copy of
this notice should also be sent to Martin, warning him that he would be
included in the indictment if he took any proceedings with regard to Miss
Lynch; and that a further copy should, if possible, be put into the hands
of Miss Lynch herself.
'You may be sure that'll frighten them,' continued Daly; 'and then, you
know, when we see what sort of fight they make, we'll be able to judge
whether we ought to go on and prosecute or not. I think the widow'll be
very shy of meddling, when she finds you're in earnest. And you see, Mr
Lynch,' he went on, dropping his voice, 'if you do go into court, as I
don't think you will, you'll go with clean hands, as you ought to do.
Nobody can say anything against you for trying to prevent your sister from
marrying a man so much younger than herself, and so much inferior in
station and fortune; you won't seem to gain anything by it, and that's
everything with a jury; and then, you know, if it comes out that Miss
Lynch's mind is rather touched, it's an additional reason why you should
protect her from intriguing and interested schemers. Don't you see?'
Barry did see, or fancied he saw, that he had now got the Kellys in a dead
fix, and Anty back into his own hands again; and his self-confidence having
been fully roused by his potations, he was tolerably happy, and talked very
loudly of the manner in which he would punish those low-bred huxters, who
had presumed to interfere with him in the management of his family.
Towards the latter end of the evening, he became even more confidential,
and showed the cloven foot, if possible, more undisguisedly than he had
hitherto done. He spoke of the impossibility of allowing four hundred a
year to be carried off from him, and suggested to Daly that his sister
would soon drop off, that there would then be a nice thing left, and that
he, Daly, should have the agency, and if he pleased, the use of Dunmore
House. As for himself, he had no idea of mewing himself up in such a hole
as that; but, before he went, he'd take care to drive that villain, Moylan,
out of the place. 'The cursed villany of those Kellys, to go and palm such
a robber as that off on his sister, by way of an agent!'
To all this, Daly paid but little attention, for he saw that his host was
drunk. But when Moylan's name was mentioned, he began to think that it
might be as well either to include him in the threatened indictment, or
else, which would be better still, to buy him over to their side, as they
might probably learn from him what Martin's plans really were. Barry was,
however, too tipsy to pay much attention to this, or to understand any
deep-laid plans. So the two retired to their beds, Barry determined, as he
declared to the attorney in his drunken friendship, to have it out of Anty,
when he caught her; and Daly promising to go to Tuarn early in the morning,
have the notices prepared and served, and come back in the evening to dine
and sleep, and have, if possible, an interview with Mr Moylan. As he
undressed, he reflected that, during his short professional career, he had
been thrown into the society of many unmitigated rogues of every
description; but that his new friend, Barry Lynch, though he might not
equal them in energy of villany and courage to do serious evil, beat them
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