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that beggarman out of your little girl
an' your money."

<^No, Mick, young Lennon has
nothing to say to it ; if he never was
bom, Winny wouldn't marry Tom. I
would not misbelieve Winny on her
word, let alone her oath; an' she
tould me she tuck her oath to Tom
that she'd never marry him. He tax-
ed her wid young Lennon, an' so did
I ; an' she decl^^ an' I believe her
there too, Mick, that there never was
a word between them on such a sub-
ject ; an' let there be no more now be-
tween UB. It can't be helped. But I
will not disthress my little ^rl by
spakin' to her any more about Tom."

''Oh, Tery well, Ned; that'll do.



But, be the book, Tom's not the boy
that'll let himself be med a fool of by
any one ; an' Pm the very fellow that
is able an' willin' to back him up
in it."

^ Athen l^hat do you mane, Mick ?
— ^for the devil a wan of me can un-
dherstan' that threat, af it beant the
law you mane, an' sure the gandher in
the yard beyant id have more sense
than to think iv that My little girl
never held out the smallest cumhithef
upon Tom; but, instead iv that, she
tells me that she always med scarse iv
herself wheen he was to the fore. So
af it be law you mane, Mick, you may
do your worst."

^ No, it isn't the law I mane, Ned*
Law is dear at best, an' twiste as dear
at worst ; but I mane to say that I'll
back up poor Tom 'ithin there, that's
brakin' his heart about Winny ; an' if
you have any regard for her, you'll do
the same thing; an' you'll see we'll
bring the thing round, as we ought;
that's what I mane. The girl can't
deny but what she med much iv Tom,
until that other spalpeen cum across
her. Tom's no fool, an' knows what a
girl mains verj' weU."

^ She does deny it, Mick, an' so she
can. But there's no use, I tell you, in
sayin' any more about it I can see
plane an' aisy enough that Winny
isn't for him. I tould her I wouldn't
strive to force her likin' or dislikin',
an' I won't ; so just tell Tom that the
girl is in earnest She tould him so
herself, an' you may tell htm the same
thing. He can't think so much about
her, Micky as you let on, for there
never was any courting betune them
from first to last I'll spake to you
no more about it, Mick, an' you
needn't spake to me."

With this final resolve, Ned turned
his back completely round upon his
neighbor, and walked with a hasty but
firm step into the house.

Old Mick stood for some moments
looking after him in a state of perplex-
edsurprise. He had some fears, though
they were not very great, that Winny's
influence over her father was si^-



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Att-ffalbw Boe; or, The Tut of ISOmitf.



ciently strong to determine him ac-
eording to her wishes, if she was real-
Ij averse to a match with his s<» ; bat
tiiis latter was a point upon which he
had scarcely any fears at all ; except
such as were suggested 6y the hints
his son himself had thrown ont about
young Lennon. Upon this part of the
case he had spoken to Ned in such a
way as to make him determined to be
very strict and decided in his opposi-
lion to any leaning on his daughter's
part in that quarter.

Old Mick, as he stood and locked,
was perplexed on both these parts of
the case. If he believed that Winny
Cavana had really and decidedly re-
fused to marry his son, he could only
do so upon the supposition that young
Lennon was the mainspring of the
whole movement And, again, to sup-
pose she had preferred a ^* secret col-
loguing with that pauper," behind her
&ther^8 back, to an open and straight-
forward match with a rich young man,
and what he called a handsomer man
than ever Lennon was, or ever would
be, and with her father's full consent,
was what he could not bring himself
to believe of any sensible girL
But this he did believe, that if *" that
young whelp" was reaJly not at the
bottom of Winny's refusid, a marriage
with his son, be it brought about by
whai means it could, would end in a
reconciliation, not only of Winny to so
great a match, but of old Ned, as a ne-
cessary consequence, to his daughter's
Acquiescence.

With these thoughts, and countex^
thoughts, he too turned toward his
house, where he found Tom just
going to his breakfast, in no very good
humor with the past, the present, or
the future.

His father ** bid him the time of
day," and said ^ he had to look after a
cow tliat was on for cavin'," an' that
he'd be back by the time he had done
his breakfast This was a mere piece
of consideration upon old Mick's part

Loss of appetite and uneasiness of
manner in a handsome young man of
two-and-twenty is unhesitatingly set



down by the old crones of a parish to
his being ^ in love," and they are sel-
dom at a loss to sapi^y the coUeet^
dha$8 to whom these symptoms are at*
tribatable. In Tom's case, however,
there were other matters than love
which were accountable for die miser-
able attempt at breakfast he had made^
notwithstanding the elaborate prepar-
ations Nancy Feehily had made to
tempt him. His father was surprised
to find him so soon following him to
the fields. But Tom, knowing his fa-
ther's energy of action when a matter
was on his mind, suspected he had noi
been to that hour of the day withoirt
managing an interview with old Gav*
ana, and was on the fidgets to know
what passed. But love— as love - had
nothing whatever to say to his want of
relish for so good a breakfast as had
been set before him.

He met his father returning toward
the house, not far from the celebrated
gate already so often mentioned ia
this story. The spot where they now
met was a litUe more favorable for a
conference than the gate in question,
for, unlike it, there was no private
bower for eavesdroppers to secrete
themselves in.

'< Well, father," said Tom, breaking
into the subject at once, ^ have you
seen the old fogie about Winny ?"

^ I have, Tom, an' matthers is worse
nor I thought She has oum round
him most complatdy ; for4ie present
anyhow."

** I told you how it would be, father,
and be d — I"

*" Whist, Tom, don't be talking that
way ; there's wan thing Fm afther b^
ing purty sure of, an' that is, that that
spftlpeen has nothin' to say to it It^s
all perverseness just for a while, an'
she'll cum round afther a bit"

« Well, father. 111 cut my stick fbr
that bit, be it long or short ; so tell me,
what can you do for me about money ?
You know if she was never in the
place, it's nothing to keep me here
stravaging about die road."

"Thrue for you, Tom avic U
isn't easy, however, kyin' a man's



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SOS



ittiid upon what you'd want wid 700
fixrastart; but sure 1117 credit is good
in the bank, an' sure rU pat m7 name
upon a bill-etamp hit 70a for twenty
or thirty pounds. Take 017 advice
an' don't go past 70iir aanfa in Ar-
magh. Tom, she's an illiga&t fine
woman, an' will resare 70U wid a
eeade ndUe afaUhaj an' reyive 70UOUt
an' out afore 70a put a month over 70u.
There's not a man in Armagh has a
betther thrade than her husbuid, Bill
Wilson the caipenter — cabinet-maker,
I blieve the7 call him— an' b'lieve
my words, shell make the most of her
brotfaer^s son. Who knows, Tom avic ?
Airah, ma7be 7on'd do betther down
there nor at home. An7 wa7 Winn7
won't be gone afore 70a come back,
an' if we can't manage wan thing ma7-
be we would another — ikig um^ thee T*

<" Well, I hope so ; but, father, Til
be off before Sunda7, and this is Wed-
>e8da7.''

^ Toall have lashins of time, Tom ;
bat the sorra wan but I'll be ver7
kMl7; for although, Tom, 7on do be
vandhering from home b7 da7, and
stopping out late sometimes b7 night,
sore I know 7oa're not f»i off, an' I
alwa7S hear 70U lettin' 70ur9e]f in be-
tone night an' momin'. Though Cae-
sar doesn't bark at 70U, I hear him
whinin' an' shufflin' when 70u're com-
ing to the back doore?"

^ No matter about that now, father ;
I soppose I can get the mone7 to-
morrow or after, and start for m7
aanfs?"

^An7 minute, Tom. Fm never
without a bill-stamp in the house in
r^^aid of the fiurs. Gome in, and I'll
dhraw it out at wanst, an' I'll engage
the7'Il give 70U Uie mone7 ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^
bank ; ^on't be the laste taste aleared
oftha^Tom."

Whether Tom then intended to be
guided b7 his father's advice, and not
go past his aunt's in Armagh, it is not
eafl7 to 8a7 ; but at all events he ^ let
on^ that he would not do so. When
lie got his heeb loose, with a trifle of
cash in his pocket, he could torn his
■Cepe m a&7 directiim he wished.



The7 ^®B returned to the house,
and old Mick, putting on his specta-
cles, opened a table-drawer in the par-
lor, where he kept his writing mate*
rials, accounts, receipts, etc. After
some discussion, which had well-nigh
ended in an argument, as to whether
the amount should be twent7 or thirly'
pounds, a bill was ultimate^ drawn
b7 the son upon the father for the for-
mer sum, at three months. Tom had,
other reasons than the mere increase
of ten pounds in the amount, for wish-
ing to have the word thirt7 instead
of twent7 written in the bill ; however,
he could not screw more than the lat-
ter sum out of the old man, which he
said was ample to take him to his
aunt's in Armagh, where he'd get
lashins an' lavins of the best of ever7-
thing. Tom knew that for this pur-
pose it would be ample, and therefore
failed to bring forward an7 arguments
to sustain his view as to Uie necessit7
of making it thirt7; but as it was
he himself who wrote it out, he patted
the blotting-paper over it in great
haste - a matter which was not, of
course, observed b7 the old man, nor
if it had been would he have supposed
there was an7thing unusual, much
less for a purpose, in the act. The
&ther having read it carefull7 over,
and seeing that it was all correct,
wrote his name with some dignity of
manner across the bill. This portion
of the writing Tom took care to let
dry without any blotting at all, for he
held it to the fire instead. Neither
did the old man observe this unusual
course, the manifest mode being to
have used the blottmg-paper, as in the
first instance.

The matter being now thus far per-
fected, Tom asked his father if he
could have Blackberry— <me of the
farm horses — ^to go into C. O. S. early
next morning.

«An' welcome, Tom, if he was
worth a hundred pounds," said the old
man, locking the drawer. <



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OHAPTEB XYL

ToH spent the remaiDder of that
day veiy quietly, most of it in his own
room. His first employment, what-
ever it may have been , was over an
old portfolio, where he kept his own
writing materials. What were the
chief subjects of his caligraphy is not
known. Perhaps love-letters to such
of his numerous enamaratas as could
read may have formed a portion, nor
is it impossible but the police might
have given a trifle to have laid their
hands upon some others. Neither
were likely to see the light, however,
as Tom Murdoch kept that old port-
folio carefolly locked up in his box.

Tlie next morning at an unusually
early hour for him Tom proceeded
upon Blackberry, fuUy caparisoned
with the best saddle and bridle in the
place, to C. O. S.; where, afler ten
oVlodL, he found no difficulty in pro-
curing cash upon his father's accept-
ance.

Now, although in the first instance
Tom had no notion of stopping at his
aunt's in Armagh, or perhaps of go-
ing there at aU, upon reflection he
changed his mind altogether upon the
subject He had some congenial
spirits there beside his aunt — spirits
with whom he occasionally had had
personal ccnnmunication as well as
more frequent epistolary correspon-
dence. Beyond Armagh, therefore,
upon second thoughts, he resolved
not to go upon this occasion. As to
any depression of spirits on account
of Winny Cavana, he had none, ex-
cept the loss of her fortune, which
would have stood to him so well in his
present circumstances. And here he
remembered that his father liad told
him the interest of 'Uhat same" was
all he could have touched, and even
that at only three per cent.; so that
for the mere present he had done as
well, if not better. What he had
drawn out of the bank upon his fa-
ther's credit, would settle the two ha-
rassing and intricate cases, which
two different attorneys, on the part of



thoM whom he ha4 »oBt grievously-
wronged, had threat^ied to expose in
a court of law. He would have some
over — ^he took care of that — to take
him to Armagh and back, where he
could not manage Ihxs time to go at
the expense of ^ the fund." He did
not purpose, however, to stop very
long at his aunt's. He would
tell Winny when he came back that
her refusal of him had driven him
away— 4ie knew nor cared not whither ;
but that he found it impossible to live
without sometimes seeing her, if it
was only from his own door to hers :
yes, he would follow that business up
the moment he returned. In the
meantime it might not be without
some good effect his being absent for a
short time.

Such were the thoughts and plans
with which Tom, after he had settled
with the attorneys, \eh his poor old
father, we may say completely alone ;
for after the rather sharp words which
had taken pkce between the two old
men, he could hardly continue his cus-
tomary visits, or half-casual, half-pro*
jected meetings with Ned Cavana,
by their respective mearings. Hith-
erto in this respect, more than in ac-
tual visits, the intercourse between
these two old men had been habitual,
indeed it may be said of didly occur-
rence, mutually watched for. If one
saw the other overlooking his men,
either sowing or reaping, or planting
or digging, according to the time <2
the year, the habit almost amounted to
a rule, that, whichever saw the other
first, quit his own men, and sloped
over toward his neighbor to have a
look at what was going on, and liaving
there exhausted the pros and cons of
whatever the work might be, a gen-
eral chat was kept up and the visit re-
turned on the spot.

Now, however, matters were to a
great extent changed. This ^^unto-
wiurd circumstance " between Tom
Murdoch and Winny Cavana, to-
gether with the subsequent converse-
tion upon the subject between the Aei-
thers, rendered this friendly inter*



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305



coarse impossible. From all bis son
had told him, old Mick thought Wimiy
Gavana had treated him badly, and
be considered that old Ned had ^'gone
back of his word" to himself. He was
a pluckj, proud old cock, and his ad-
rice to Tom would be ^^ to see it out
with the pair of them, without any

What he meant by ^seeing it out^
he hardly knew himself, for he had
repodialed the law in a most decided
manner when taxed with it by Ned.
What, tben, could he mean by " see-
ing it out?* Perhaps Tom would not
require his advice upon the subject.

l^'rom this day forth, however, old
Mick was not the man he used to be.
A man at Ids age, however well he
may have worn — ay, even to have
obtained the name of an evei^green—
generally does so having his mind at
ease as well as his body in health—
the one begets the other; and so an
old man thrives, and often looks as
well at seventy as he did at sixty.
But these old evergreens sometimes
begin to fail suddenly if the cold
wind of disappointment blows roughly
upon their hitherto happy hearts ; and
Tom Murdock was not three weeks
away, when the remarks of the people
returning from the chapel, respecting
old Mick, were that ^' Uiey never saw
a man so gone in the time." And the
fact was so.

Old Mick Murdock had been all
his life a cheerful, chatty man, one
with whom it was a comfort to ^< be a
piece of the road home/' Moreover,
he had always been erect in person,
with a pair of cheeks like a scarlet
Croflon apple— not the occasional
smooth flush of delicacy, but the con-
stant hard rough tint of health. There
were many young men in the parish
whom a walk alongside of old Mick
Murdock for a couple of miles would
put out of breath, while you would not
see a heave, however slight, out of
old Mick's chest

Look on him now : ^ he has not a
w<ffd to throw to a dog," as the saying
has it ; he is b^tnntng to stoc^ in his



gait, and more than once already he
has struck his heel against the ground
in walking. As yet it is not a drag,
and those indications of a break-up
in his constitution are comparatively
slight Ere long, however, you will
see him with a stick, and you will be
hardly able to recognize him as the
Mick Murdock of a few months be-
fore.

Tom, as we have seen, having 8et>
tied with the attorneys, started for his
aunt's ; where, as his ftither had pre-
dicted, he was received with open
arms, and a joyful clapping of hands
and a ceade mille afaltha. ^ Oh, then,
Tom, avic macree, but it^s you that's
welcome ; an' shure I needn't ax you
how you are. Oh, but it's you that's
grown the fine young man since I seen
you last An' letme see — ^how long ago
is that now, Tom agra? If 11 be four
years coming Eastfare Sunda' next
since I was down in Rathcashmor^
An' how is Mick a wochal? an'
how's herself, Tom, the 'colleen dhass/
you know?" And she gave him a
poke with her finger between the ribs.
^ Ah, Tom avic, yon needn't look so
shy ; shure I know all about it, an' why
wouldn't I? It'll be an illigant match
for the pair iv ye ; as good for the wan
as for the other-^coming Shrafl, Tom,
eh ? In troth Winny will be a comfort
to you, as well as a creedit; thafft
what she will, won't she, Tom ?"

''Let me alone now, aunt; Fm
tired after the journey ; and it^s not of
her I'm thinking."

" See that now-^- arra na hodduh,
Tom, don't be afther telling me that ;
shure didn't Mick himself write to me
two or three times to let me know
how matthers was going on, and the
grand party he gev on Hallow-Eve,
and the fun ye aU had, and how you
danced wid her a'most the whole
night"

^ Nonsense, aunt ! Did he tell yoa
how anybody else danced?"

^ No, the sorra word he said about
any wan that was there, barrin' your-
self an' herself."

*^ Well, never heed her now. Til



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M-HaOaw Eve; &r, The Te$t of Fuiuritg.



tell you more aboat her to-morrow or
next day, and maybe ask your advice
upon the subject at the same time."

Their ccmversation was here inter-
Euptedy as Tom thought very oppor^
tunely, by the entrance of Bill Wil-
son, whose welcome for his wife's
nephew was as hearty, in a manner^
as that which he had received from
herself. The conversation, of course,
now " became general ;" and Bill Wil-
ron, although he had never been out
of Armagh, seemed to have every-
body down about Tom's country pat
by heart, for he asked for them all by
name, not forgetting, although he left
her to the last, to ask for Winny Ca-
vana. It was evident to Tom, fit>m
his manner, that he was up to the
project in that quarter; and as evi-
dent that, like his aunt, he knew noth-
ing of how matters up to this had
turned out, or how they were likely
to end. He answered his uncle's
questions, however, with reasonable
self-possession; and his aunt, having
perceived from his last observation
te herself that there was ^a screw
loose," turned the conversation very
naturally to the subject of Tom's
physical probabilities, saying,

'^ Athen, Tom jewel, maybe it's
what you're hungry, an' would like to
take something to eat aforcc dinner;
Aure an' shure it's the first question I
ought to have asked you."

« No,, aunt, I thank you kindly, TU
take nothmg until your dinner; there's
a friend of mine uves in the skirts of
the town; I want to see him, and 111
be back in less than an hour."

"A friend of yours, Tom? athen
shure if he is, he ought to be a friend
of ours ; who is he, Tom a wochal ?"

" Oh, no, aunt, you never heard of
him. He's a boy I have a message
to from, a friend in the country."

"Why, then, Tom, you'll be want*
ing to know ihe way in this strange
place, an' shure FU send the girl wid
you to show you. Shure how could you
know, an' you neverin Armagh afore ?"

"No, aunt, I say, I have a tongue
in my head, and Pm not an onshiouffh.



ni find him out without taking your
girl from her business."

"Athen, Tom jewel, whoever
bought you for an onehumghy would lay
out his money badly, I'm thinking;
an' although you were never in this
big city afore, the devil a bit afeared
I am but you'll find your way, an*
well have lashins iv everything tiiat'a
good for you, and a ceademUe afaUhoj
when you come back."

Tom then lefl them, bidding them
a temporary good-bye. He £d not
think it at all necessary to enlighten
his aunt to the fact that he had pai<]^
periodical visits to Armagh from time
to time, and had on these occasions
passed her very door. But these vis-
its were of short duration, and have
been only hinted at They were suf^
ficient, however, to fiuniUarise him
with the portions of the city to which
he now directed his steps. But as
we are not aware of the precise spot
to which he went, nor acquainted witk
those whose society he sought, we
shall not follow him.

His aunt, afler he had \^ was in
no degree sparing in her praise of him
to her husband, who had never seen
him before, but who indorsed every
word she said with die greatest
promptitude and good-humor, " as far
as he could see." ,

Bill Wilson was no fooL He gave
his wife's nephew a hearty and a sin-
cere welcome, and he knew it would
be an ungracious thing not to acqui-
esce in all that she said to his advan-
tage ; but it was an indiscreet slip to
add the words "as far as he could
see." It implied a caution on his
part which did not say much for the
confidence he ought to have felt in his
wife's opinion, and went merely to
corroborate her praises of his personal
appearance.

"^As far as you ca^ see,' Bill I
Well, indeed, that far you can find no
fault at all, at all; that's shure an'
sartin. Where would you find the
likes iv him, as far as that same goes,
William Wilson ?-Hiot in Armagh,
let me tdl you* I ax you did joa



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207



erer aee a finer head iv hair, or a
finer pair iv ejes in a man's head^ or a
liandaomer nose, or a purtier mouth?
An' the whiskers, Bill!—- ah, them's
the dark whiskers from SlieTe-dhn;
none of your moss-odlored whiskers
thai 70a see about here, BilL Look
at the hoith It him ! He's no lepra*
haon, Bin Wilson ; an' I saj if 70a
go oat an' walk the town for three
hoars, 7oa11 not meet the likes iv him
^ 70a come hack again to where he
is Umsel'."

" Faix, an' I won't try that, Mary,
fwr I believe every word you're afther
sayin'. But, shure, I didn't mane
to make Httle of the 7oung man at
alL**

^ Yott siud ' as fiur as. you could see,'
Bill ; an' shore we all know how far
that is. But amn't I tellin' 70a what
is be7ant 70ur sight, — what he is to
the backbone, for larnin', an' eveiy-
thin' that's good, manly, an' honest?
There now, Bill, I hope 70U don't
misdoubt me^^-' as £sir as 70a can
see,' indeed !"

*^ Well, Mary, I meant nothing
against him by that; indeed I be-
lieve, and Tm shure, h^'s as good as
lie's handsome. But I must go out
DOW to the workshop to look after the
men. Let me know when he comes
back."

Tom was not so long away as he
had intended The person whom he
went to look for was not at home, and
he returned to his aunt at once. He
had not many acquaintances in Ar-
magh, and they were such as might be
better pleased with a visit after dark
than so early in the day.

Before ^Qie dinner" was prepared,
Tom bad another chat with his aunt,
and, as a matter of course, she could
not altogether avoid the subject of
Winny Gavana. She had been given
to understand by her brother that a
aucoessful courtship was carrying on
between Tom and her. But the hu-
mor in which Tom had received her
first quizzing upon the subject at once
told that intelligent lady of the ^* loose
screw" on some side of the question.



Upon so important a matter, a married
woman, and own aunt to such a fine
young man, one of the parties con-
cerned, Mrs. Wilson could not permit
herself to remain ignorant Her dip
rect questions in the first instance, and
her dextrous cross-examination after-
ward, showed Tom the folly of hop>
ing to evade a full confession of his
having been refused ; and it may be
belieinsd that he set forth in no small
degree how ill-treated he had been
by the said Winny Cavana atut her



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