Roseen by Mrs.
Peter Rorke stood on the threshold of Monavoe, his big comfortable
house, looking round him with the proud air of the proprietor. It is
commonly said that the Devil is not so black as he is painted, and in
the case of Peter Rorke the proverb would seem to be justified. In
appearance and manner there was nothing about the man to bear out his
evil reputation. A close observer would indeed detect, in his long
narrow face, and particularly in the neighbourhood of his rather small
closely-set eyes, certain lines and wrinkles which conveyed an
impression of meanness--the one sin which, as some one very truly
observes, is apparently found least possible to forgive, particularly,
one might add, by Irish folk. But, on the whole, Peter Rorke was not an
ill-looking old fellow, and now as he stood basking in the autumn
sunlight, while his eyes wandered from one to the other of his
possessions, his face wore quite a pleasant expression. In truth, it
would have been difficult, even for the most humble of mortals, not to
feel a certain exhilaration on gazing at the evidences of prosperity at
Monavoe. The house, to begin with, was solid and comfortable, the barns
and granaries were full to overflowing; yonder were stables for the six
fine cart-horses now toiling at various corners of Peter's domain;
adjoining them the cow-houses, where Peter could not only accommodate
twelve milch-cows, but fatten in the winter an equal number of
"stall-feds"; in the "haggard" to the rear were the innumerable golden
stacks and hay-ricks which were, of all his possessions, those most
valued by the Master of Monavoe. No one in the country was so clever in
selecting time and weather for cutting and carting; no one so cunning
in ascertaining the most opportune moments for selling, or so
far-seeing with regard to prices. At this very moment Peter Rorke was
gazing at an immense rick of "prime old hay" which he had had the
prudence to keep back while all his neighbours were selling. His wisdom
now appeared; there had been an unexpected failure in the hay crop that
season, the prices had gone up accordingly, and Peter looked forward to
receiving more than double the sum that his produce was actually worth.
Rousing himself at length from what, to one of his temperament, had
been a reverie of long duration, he turned round and called loudly to
some one whom he supposed to be within: "Rose, Rose! Are ye there,
There was no answer, and after a moment's pause he called again
impatiently. A very old woman with a white sun-bonnet tilted over her
brow came slowly from the back premises. "Where is my granddaughter,
Judy?" he asked, with a frown. Judy was no favourite of his.
"She isn't here at all," she observed; and then jerking her thumb
over her shoulder in the direction of some outhouses, "she went acrass
to the dairy a while ago."
Peter Rorke grunted, and, without another glance at the old woman,
began to walk at a rapid pace in the direction she had indicated. As he
drew near the partly open door of the dairy, the sound of a girl's
voice could be heard merrily lilting a tune; and when Peter entered the
owner of the voice turned round, abruptly ceasing her song and gazing
at him with a startled look. This was Roseen, a tall and comely lassie
of seventeen, in whose pretty, saucy face, however, and clear blue
eyes, there still remained much of the child. Her mother had died when
she was about fifteen, and, to the astonishment of every one who knew
him, Peter Rorke had announced his intention of adopting his
grandchild. He had never had any objections to the girl herself, he
declared loftily; she was well enough in every way, and his own son's
child; he could never put up with the mother, it was true--a common
little servant girl that his son had no right to have been speaking to,
much less to be goin' an' gettin' married to. Peter would never bring
himself to recognise him at all after he had demeaned himself that way,
and as long as the wife lived he couldn't be expected to take any
notice of the child; but now that she was dead an' gone to her own
place, wherever that might be, he wasn't goin' to let his granddaughter
go out to sarvice. She was Miss Rorke, and her place was at Monavoe,
where all the Rorkes had lived and died for more generations than any
one cared to count.
When, however, he had, with a good deal of pompous benevolence,
driven up on his outside-car to fetch Miss Rorke from the tumbled-down
cabin which had been hitherto the only home she had known, that young
lady, instead of being properly grateful, and impressed by her
relative's condescension, had displayed a spirit of independence, and
indeed stubbornness, which the worthy old gentleman found as
bewildering as mortifying. He had never taken any notice of them
before, she had averred; he had let her father starve, and her mother
work herself to death. Roseen was not going to be beholden to him
now--she'd earn her own bread, so she would, an' if he thought shame of
his grandchild goin' to sarvice, she was glad of it, so she was, an'
she'd make sure an' tell every one the way he was afther thratin' them.
Peter had rubbed his lantern-jaw and glanced askance at the determined
little maiden who stood facing him, her blue eyes flashing through her
tears, and every line of face and figure betokening resolution. First,
he had been puzzled, then angry, finally he had had recourse to
entreaty, feeling in his heart that he could never look the neighbours
in the face again if the story got about that this chit had "got the
better of him that way." At length Roseen had suffered herself to be
softened, and agreed, after much persuasion, to a compromise. She would
condescend to take up her abode under her grandfather's roof on the
condition that Judy came too. Judy was one of these appendages so
frequently to be seen in Irish cabins, there being, apparently,
scarcely any householder so poor that he or she cannot afford to
shelter some one poorer still. While there is a roof over their heads,
a potato to put into their mouths, the Irish peasants will share with
one another. Ever since Roseen could remember, Judy had been an inmate
of their home; she had helped in the small household labours, tended
Mrs. Rorke after her own fashion when she had been sick, scolded and
adored Roseen from babyhood to youth. There was not much else poor Judy
could do, except smoke her pipe when, by some lucky chance, a "bit o'
baccy" came in her way: she was not only old and lame, but half-witted,
very nearly "innocent." What Peter's feelings had been may be guessed
when invited to receive this strange-looking old creature into his
house; but Roseen had been firm, and he had finally consented.
Whether there had been some dormant family affection in that
withered heart of his, which had sprung to life now that poor Mrs.
Rorke no longer stood between him and his own flesh and blood, or
whether the girl's obstinacy had aroused in him a corresponding desire
to carry his point, or whether, as some of the neighbours ill-naturedly
said, he thought if the fine little colleen was to go to sarvice at
all, she might as well come to him for no wages as to be airnin' from
somebody else, remains a mystery; but it is certain that in spite of
the unpleasant condition imposed by Roseen, Peter felt a curious glow
of pride and pleasure when he assisted Roseen to alight at the door of
Monavoe. Since then he had certainly grown fond of her, and was
moreover proud of her good looks and winsome ways. He had sent her to a
boarding-school, a grand convent establishment for young ladies, where
the good nuns had done their best to impart to her all that was deemed
essential for Mr. Rorke's granddaughter to learn. Roseen knew already
how to read, and could write after a fashion of her own; she now learnt
arithmetic, and could, indeed, keep her butter accounts by dint of much
counting on slim sunburnt fingers and puckering of her pretty white
forehead; but alas! all attempts to attain more elegant accomplishments
remained fruitless--Roseen was a thorough little dunce. Much to the
relief of all parties, she returned to Monavoe at the end of twelve
months, and thereupon devoted her energies to the more homely
acquirements in which she had since become an adept. She could do
anything with those deft fingers of hers: her butter was proverbial,
her bread excellent, she could trim a hat and hem a duster with equal
speed and nicety, and as for clear-starching and getting up fine
things, she was the wonder of the rustic matrons for ten miles round.
Roseen had been making butter when her grandfather entered, and,
turning round, displayed a face rosy with her exertions, and arms bare
to the elbow.
"So here ye are," remarked Peter, his grim face relaxing as much as
was possible to it; "I've been lookin' for ye everywhere. Do ye know
what I am after doin' for you this fine mornin'?"
"What?" asked Roseen, a little apprehensively, while the colour
deepened in her cheeks. Peter leaned against the long stone shelf that
ran round the dairy wall, and smiled before replying: "I am after
makin' the finest match for you that's to be had in all the country
The flush mounted to Roseen's very temples and then died away; she
paused a moment to steady her voice before venturing on a query. "I
seen Mr. Quinn goin' down the road a little while ago--is it him?"
"Ah, you little rogue! you were on the lookout, were ye?" cried
Peter jocosely. "Well, you are right; it is him. You are the rale lucky
girl, Roseen! You'll be the richest woman in the town-land."
Roseen glanced down, apparently wrestling with some inward emotion,
and presently observed in a small, strangled voice: "Sure, he is twenty
year older nor me."
"What matter?" said Peter; "he'll be all the better able to take
care o' you. It's better to marry a man with sense, nor to go takin' up
with some young whipper-snapper that would be thinkin' of nothin' but
spendin' money and carryin' on with nonsense."
"He's an ould widower," cried Roseen, wrinkling up her little nose
with an expression of disgust.
"Well," said Peter, "an' a good thing too; you'll come in for all
the beautiful dresses and jewels and things the first Mrs. Quinn left
"I am not goin' to take her lavin's, then," retorted Roseen with
spirit. "Neither her jew'lry, her dresses, nor her husband will I have,
so there! That's my answer, an' you may tell him so. He may go make up
his match with somebody else for me." With a whisk of her skirts and a
stamp of her foot, she returned to her butter.
"Come, come!" said Peter, knitting his brows. "Come, come, come!" he
repeated, in warning tones; "this won't do, miss."
Roseen tossed her head, and gave her roll of butter two or three
"If I bid you take Mr. Quinn, you'll have to take him," said Peter
"I won't, then," retorted Roseen, and she finished off one little
roll and fell to preparing another.
"You owe everything in this wide world to me, I would have you
remember," cried Peter, stammering in his wrath; "if I was to turn you
out o' doors this minute, ye wouldn't have a place to go to."
"I would soon find a place," said Roseen. "I told ye that before I
Peter, finding the threat of no avail, changed his tactics, and
assumed a wheedling tone.
"Listen, Roseen, like a good sensible girl. Sure, ye know very well
it's me that holds the place of father an' mother to you now, an' it's
my duty to see you are settled an' provided for. Well, now, ye might
sarch the world over an' not find such a good man as Mr. Quinn, an' a
real gentleman, too, mind you. Sure, it's jumping with joy you ought to
be. An' lookit here, Roseen, you are all the descendants I have, an' if
you do as I bid you, I'll make me will after ye are married to Mr.
Quinn, an' leave the two 'o you this place an' everything in the wide
world that I have. There now!"
This tempting prospect was too much for Roseen. She whisked round
again so rapidly that she overturned a pan of cream; her cheeks were
flaming, her eyes flashing with anger.
"I'll be thankin' ye not to talk to me that way, grandfather," she
cried. "I declare it's enough to vex a saint! I won't have Mr. Quinn,
an' wouldn't if he gave me a carpet of gould to walk upon. That's me
answer, an' he needn't be waitin' for me, for I won't have him."
Peter Rorke shook his head sorrowfully.
"Ye'll be bringin' me white hairs with sorrow to the grave, the same
as your father," he remarked, oblivious of the fact that the poor
fellow in question had only succeeded in laying low his own curly black
ones. "I declare me heart's broke. Ye had a right to have a bit more
consideration for me, Roseen, after all I done for ye. Did I ever give
ye a cross word, now, since you come here?"
Roseen opened her eyes a little blankly, stricken with sudden
remorse. It was true her grandfather had ever treated her kindly since
she had come to Monavoe, and indeed, after a certain queer fashion, the
two had grown to be rather fond of each other.
"Haven't I always given you everything you wanted?" pursued Peter,
in a querulous tone; "everything in reason, anyhow. Look at the
beautiful blue tabinet dress I gave you--sure there isn't the like in
the place--and the new hat ye have, an' kid gloves an' all! Sure, I
never deny you anything! An' you up an' give me them disrespectful
answers, an' refuse to do the only thing I ever axed ye!"
Tears were actually twinkling in the old man's narrow eyes, so much
aggrieved did he feel himself to be. Roseen began to cry too. "It's me
that has me heart broke," she sobbed. "How can I go marryin' Mr. Quinn
wid his ugly red face, an' him an ould widower an' cross-eyed into the
bargain? Sure, if it was anything else now--" A burst of woe
interrupted her utterance.
"Me child," said Peter impressively, "I know more what's for your
good nor you do yourself; but don't distress yourself too much, alanna:
Mr. Quinn says he does not mind waitin' as long as you like, so we'll
say no more about it for a while."
"O--o--o--oh!" groaned Roseen.
Peter prevented further lamentations by assuring her, with various
affectionate pats on the arm, that he knew she would never go annoyin'
her poor ould grandfather, but they'd say no more about it, for a bit
anyhow. He withdrew, leaving Roseen still sobbing amid the fragments of
a broken milk-pan, and perhaps the ruins of a castle in the air.
Presently, however, she dried her eyes, and, being a methodical
person, set to work to repair the disorder around her. When the broken
crockery was removed, the cream wiped up, and the remaining butter
rolled into shape, she went out, closing the dairy door after her and,
giving a hasty glance to right and to left, made her way swiftly across
the "haggard" and down a grassy lane beyond, to a large field, where a
man was to be seen leisurely assembling together a troop of cows.
Roseen ran quickly across the grass towards him, stopping as soon as
she perceived that he had caught sight of her, and beckoning to him
"Come here, Mike!" she cried softly, as he hastened towards her,
"I've something to be tellin' ye."
Mike quickened his pace. He was a tall young fellow, but slender,
with an honest, good-humoured face. Without being handsome, there was
something attractive about him--an alertness, a vigour in the well-knit
limbs, a candour and kindliness in the expression of the open face, a
tenderness, moreover, in the blue eyes as they rested on Roseen--which
would seem to account for the fact that these former playfellows were
Roseen looked piteously at him, as he halted beside her, gazing with
alarm at the trace of tears which still remained on her face.
"Me grandfather wants me to get married to Mr. Quinn," she announced
"God bless us!" ejaculated Mike, his cheeks growing pale beneath
their tan. "What did ye say, alanna?"
"I said I wouldn't," answered Roseen.
"That's me brave girl! I declare ye're afther givin' me such a
fright, I don't know whether I am on me head or on me heels. Was he
goin' to murther ye for that?"
"He was at first," replied the girl, "and then he began sayin'--Oh
dear, oh dear, me heart's broke!" She was sobbing now violently.
"Sure, what matther what he says?" cried Mike, much concerned. "Ye
have no call to be frettin' that way; let him say what he likes, bad
luck to him! Sure, ye won't be havin' Mr. Quinn, Roseen, will ye?"
"N--no," said Roseen. "Me grandfather says I'm bringin' his white
hairs with sorrow to the grave."
"Ah, the ould gomeril!" retorted Mike unsympathetically. "Bedad,
what hairs he has isn't white at all, but red as carrots! Don't ye be
listenin', Roseen, asthore. Sure, ye wouldn't marry ugly Mr. Quinn?" he
"I would not," replied Roseen; "but I don't like me grandfather to
be talkin' that way. An'--an' his hair isn't that red, Mike," she added
reprovingly; "ye have no call to be sayin' it is."
"If I never said worse nor you have said yourself often an' often!"
retorted the lad. "Many's the time I heard ye at it."
"That was before I had sense," replied Roseen, a trifle loftily; "ye
have no call to be castin' that up at me now. Me an' me grandfather has
never fell out since I come here."
"Oh, that indeed," said Mike sarcastically; "ye're gettin'
altogether too good an' too grand. Hothen indeed, I may as well make up
my mind to it--ye'll be Mrs. Quinn before the year is out. Sure, what
chanst has a poor fellow the same as meself, wid the ould wans at home
to support as well as meself, when there's such a fine match as Mr.
Quinn to the fore! Och bedad! when ye're sittin' along wid him on your
side-car, ye'll never offer to throw so much as a look at poor Mike."
At this affecting picture Roseen wept more than ever, and brokenly
assured the honest fellow that not for all the Mister Quinns in the
world would she ever forget him, and that she would wait for him till
she was grey, she would, an' marry nobody else, no matter what might
Thus reassured, Mike could not do less than apologise for his
intemperate language, and a reconciliation was in the act of taking
place when Mr. Peter Rorke chanced to look over the hedge. It was past
milking-time, and he had come to see why his cows had not been driven
in as usual. Leaning on his stick and trembling with rage, he
apostrophised the young pair in no measured terms.
"Now I understand, miss," he added, after relieving his mind by a
burst of eloquence, "now I understand why you thought so bad of Mr.
Quinn's kind offer. It was this young schamer ye had in your mind--him
that ye should think no more of nor the dirt under your feet."
"Well then, grandfather," cried Roseen hotly, "I may as well tell ye
straight out that I won't stand here an' hear Michael Clancy abused.
He's all the husband ever I'll have, an' ye may make up your mind to
Peter spluttered with fury and brandished his stick. It was perhaps
well for the girl that the hedge divided them.
"Get in wid ye into the house this minute out o' me sight," he
screamed. "Him your husband! A dirty little beggar's brat that I picked
up out o' the gutter for charity!"
"Charity yourself," interrupted Mike, squaring his shoulders. "I've
done more work for ye nor ever ye paid me for--now! And the Clancys is
as good as the Rorkes, an' an oulder family, though we are down in the
world, along wid bad luck an' misfortun'."
"The Clancys is an ould ancient family," chimed in Roseen. Her
grandfather turned to her, almost beside himself with exasperation.
"Get in wid ye to the house this instant, as I bid ye, miss; or
it'll be the worse for ye. Be off, now, before I come over the hedge to
"If you dar' lay a finger," began Mike; but Roseen interrupted him
with a little defiant laugh.
"Sure, I am not afeard of him, Mike. I am more afeard of his hurting
himself nor me; but I'm goin' now, anyway, an' I am glad ye know the
truth, grandfather, so that ye needn't be botherin' me about Mr.
She went away, moving slowly and carrying her curly head very high.
Peter watched her till she was out of sight and hearing, and then
turned to Mike.
"Now then," he cried, "we'll have this matter settled. You'll go out
o' this, me lad, an' so will your father an' mother. They're owin' me a
year's rent an' more."
"Didn't I tell ye I would work it off, little by little?" said Mike,
who had suddenly become very pale. "It was me poor mother bein' sick
last year that thrun us back, an' you said ye would have patience wid
"Then ye had a right to behave better," returned Rorke. "How dar' ye
go make up to my granddaughter, you young villain? I'd have ye to know
that Miss Rorke is not for the likes of you."
All poor Mike's pride and valour seemed to have deserted him since
"Sure, Roseen an' me was always fond of one another," he said
pleadingly. "I couldn't remember a time when we wasn't. Her an' me was
ould playfellows, and she used to be as much at our place as at home."
"It won't be your place much longer," retorted Peter curtly. "Out o'
this ye may all go, bag an' baggage, the whole pack of yous."
"Me father hasn't stirred out o' that chimley corner for years an'
years," urged Mike; "an' me mother, God help her! she's near as bad as
him wid the weakness an' the terrible cough she has this while back. It
'ud be the death of her out an' out--sure, where could the cratur's
"Let them go to the poor-house, unless you can make a livin' for
them somewhere out o' this. I'll not have ye here, mind. Ye needn't
come an' work to-morrow, an' ye may tell your father an' mother to be
gettin' ready to march, for they'll be havin' the bailiff in on them as
soon as I can get him."
A deep flush replaced Mike's pallor and a shiver of indignation
shook him from head to foot.
"Mr. Rorke," he cried, "ye don't mane what ye are sayin'. Ye'd never
have the heart to turn them two ould craturs out on the roadside to
"Wouldn't I though?" retorted Peter; "ye'll soon find out for
yourselves whether I would or not."
He turned and was hastening homewards, when Mike called after him.
The old man faced him, still sneering.
"This will not bring you luck," cried Mike, his young voice
quivering, his face working with emotion, his usually merry eyes ablaze
with passion. "I tell you it'll bring a curse on you. You'll live to
rue the day you turned on us that way--an' maybe it won't be long
before ye are sorry."
Peter's only answer was an ironical laugh, and he once more resumed
his homeward journey, leaving Mike standing pale and trembling beside
Peter entered the house, flushed with triumph, and, calling loudly
for Roseen, informed her that he was after sendin' that fine young
sweetheart of hers about his business.
"Ye don't mane to say you turned him off!" cried the girl, in
dismay. "The poor fellow, how is he to live at all, him that has his
old father and mother to keep as well as himself?"
"His father and mother won't be costing him anything much now, I am
thinkin'," explained Peter politely. "That grand ancient family of the
Clancys will soon be out o' this place, an' living in the greatest aise
and comfort at the country's expense in the poorhouse, me dear."
"What do ye mane at all? Indeed Mike will never let them go there.
He'll work till the two hands drops off of him, but he will conthrive
to keep a roof over their heads."
"Will he now?" said Rorke, still laboriously urbane. "I wonder what
roof that'll be?"
Roseen looked up quickly, her parted lips suddenly turning white.
"I am thinking," resumed Peter, "he'll have to make haste an' find a
place for them, for they'll be out o' the old one soon enough."
"Grandfather!" cried Roseen, "ye're not going to put them out in
airnest, are ye? Sure ye'd never have the heart! The poor old couple is
dying on their feet as it is. It'll be the death o' them altogether if
ye go do that."
"An' a very good thing too," retorted Peter. "We'll be shut o' the
whole of them out-an'-out, that way."
"Ye're a regular hard-hearted old Turk," cried Roseen, "that's what
ye are! The whole countryside will cry shame on ye! It is outrageous,
so it is! 'Pon me word, ye're as bad as Cromwell."
"Ah, ha," said Peter, "I'll tell ye what it is, Roseen, the more
impidence ye give me, the more I'll do on the Clancys. Now! Ye
bold little lump! How dar' ye go speak to me that way? I'll teach ye to
be carryin' on wid the likes o' that. Not another word out o' ye now,
or I'll walk down to the Clancys this minute an' throw them out on the
road before dark."
Roseen's fury was replaced by terror.
"Och, grandfather, sure ye wouldn't do the like! I ax your pardon
for spakin' disrespectful to ye. Sure ye're not in airnest? Ye won't
raly put the poor old man and his wife there out o' their little place?
They won't be troublin' you long. A-a-h, grandfather, me own dear
grandfather, do lave them where they are an' I'll promise faithful
never to give you a crass word again."
But neither the coaxing tone nor the touch of the soft clinging
arms, which the girl now wound about him, moved Peter's heart.
"Out o' this them Clancys goes, bag and baggage," he asserted; "if
ye'd wanted me to let them stay where they were, an' them owin' me so
much rent an' all, ye ought to have behaved different. But on account
of this impident young sckamer ye go tellin' me ye won't marry Mr.
Quinn, the man I chose for ye, an' I catch ye sweetheartin' an'
carryin' on wid that ploughboy there, demanin' yourself altogether.
Sure nobody could be expected to stand that. I won't stand it anyhow.
Out they go, and off the whole o' them may march."
Roseen was silent for a moment, apparently battling with herself,
and at last she said in a very shaky voice:
"It's a poor case if it's me that's bringin' this throuble on them
all. Grandfather, if--if I was to give ye me word that I wouldn't spake
to Mike in the way of courtin' agin--"
"Wisha!" cried Peter sarcastically, "much good that would do. I know
the way ye would keep your promise, me lady; no, no, I'll make sure of
"Oh, grandfather! I'll promise, I promise faithful never so much as
to look at Mike!"
But Peter was inexorable; he had been wounded in his tenderest
point, bearded by these two impudent young people--set at nought. His
pride, moreover, could not brook the proximity of the audacious youth
who had dared to aspire to the hand of his granddaughter, and of the
parents who had, as he had been reminded that day, ventured to befriend
her when he himself had cast her off.
He felt that he must be rid of them without delay. Poor Roseen crept
upstairs and sat disconsolately at the window, watching the corner of
the haggard where she expected before long to see Mike appear. It had
been the custom of the young pair to meet for a few moments every
evening, under the shadow of the big hayrick and there converse before
Mike returned home. He would surely come, if only to say good-bye. Poor
fellow, what would he do? Whither would he go? Big tears rolled down
Roseen's cheeks as she thought of his desperate plight.
As she sat watching and waiting--for she dared not venture out too
soon lest her grandfather's suspicions should be aroused--a sudden
rattling and fumbling at the lock of her own door made her turn round.
The door was opened for a moment, a lean hand thrust into the room, the
key which had been on the inner side was withdrawn suddenly; then the
door quickly closed again, and before Roseen thoroughly realised what
had happened, old Peter locked her in.
"Good night, me dear!" he cried ironically through the keyhole; "I
think it's as well for ye to stay quiet this evenin' an' not be takin'
any more walks, or tirin' or excitin' yourself. Pleasant dreams, dear."
Down the stairs he went, chuckling to himself and leaving the girl
furious. She banged at the door with all her might and main, but the
lock held fast and no one came to her rescue; then she rushed to the
window and threw it open; but the distance from the ground was too
great for even a desperate maiden to jump, and she wrung her hands
frantically. Mike would think she had given him up; he would fancy her
grandfather had got round her, and that she had deserted him in his
humiliation and distress. Was there nobody who would help her, no one
by whom she could convey at least a message?
As if in answer to her agonised prayer, certain shuffling steps were
presently heard below, and old Judy's white sunbonnet appeared round
the corner of the house. Roseen clapped her hands: here was one who
would do her bidding, a faithful hench-woman who could be trusted to
carry out her orders in defiance of old Peter's commands.
"Judy!" cried the girl softly, bending out of the window.
Judy looked up in astonishment. "Is it there ye are?" she cried.
"Oh, Judy, my grandfather has me locked in! Listen now! I want ye to
do something for me."
Judy's face clouded over. "I was just stalin' out to have me little
pipe," she said. "The masther does be killin' me, when he catches me at
it, an' I was makin' me way off while he had his back turned."
"Ah, ye can smoke away as much as ye like," cried Roseen
impatiently. "See here, Judy, all I want ye to do is to stand over
there, by the corner of the haggard, an' watch till Mike comes, an'
tell him me grandfather's afther lockin' me up, an' I can't get out
this evenin', but the first chanst I have to-morrow I'll run round. An'
tell him"--here her voice faltered--"that no matther what any one says,
I'll always be faithful to him. An' I'll never get married to anybody
on'y to himself."
Judy's beady black eyes were fixed somewhat vacantly on her
mistress's face during this speech, but she nodded at the end, and on
being adjured not to forget, informed Roseen, somewhat tartly, that she
had no notion of forgettin'. She hobbled off fingering her beloved
pipe, and Roseen, sitting by the window, watched the twilight deepen
and saw the world grow misty and indistinct, and heard the birds
twittering as they went to roost. Then the stars came out one by one,
and a pale young moon showed faintly in the sky; it was night now, but
Judy had not returned. Was it possible that Mike had failed to appear
at the trysting-place.
After what seemed an interminable time, Judy's uncertain footfalls
were again heard, and her white bonnet showed indistinctly in the dusk,
bobbing up and down as she approached. Roseen craned forward her head
eagerly. "What did he say, Judy?"
"I'm afther losin' me lovely pipe," responded the old woman, halting
beneath the window. "What in the world will I do? I'm afther losin' it.
Oh dear! oh dear!--the on'y bit o' comfort I had."
"Whisht, whisht; ye'll find it to-morrow, when the light comes. Did
ye see Mike, Judy? An' what did he say?"
"Ah, don't be botherin' me about Mike," wailed Judy, "I have other
things to be thinkin' of, I'm afther losing me beautiful pipe; me
heart's broke entirely!"
"Judy, Judy! I'll give ye the loveliest pipe ever ye seen, an' a
beautiful roll o' twist, if on'y ye'll tell me. Wasn't Mike in it at
all, Judy? Tell me that, for the love of Heaven."
Judy made a desperate effort to collect the scattered remnants of
her wits, and presently said doubtfully: "Is it Mike ye are axing
about? Sure what 'ud bring Mike to the haggard? I did not see
him--an' me pipe is lost on me!"
Roseen fairly stamped her foot. Why had she been such a fool as to
count on this poor old idiotic creature? Probably while Judy was
hunting for her pipe, Mike had watched and waited in vain for a sign
from his love.
Judy shuffled off, lamenting, but Roseen sat still at her open
casement, pondering mournfully on the misfortunes which had overwhelmed
those she loved, and bewailing her impotence to help them. Soon all was
absolutely still; the house was wrapt in slumber, and at last, rising,
chilled and weary, the girl prepared to go to rest. As she closed the
window her eye was caught by a curious appearance in the sky,
immediately above the long line of the regularly shaped stacks in the
haggard. The big hayrick particularly was defined with curious
clearness against what seemed to be a glow in the sky. As she looked a
sudden tongue of flame sprang out from the western corner, and ran
leaping up the great dark mass, spreading and widening as it went; then
sparks were thrown out, and Roseen suddenly realised that the great
rick, composed of tons upon tons of hay, worth at this moment a fortune
in itself, was on fire. Screaming she rushed frantically to the door,
but owing to Peter's forethought she was locked in. In vain she
hammered and shrieked; no one heeded her. Such labourers as remained on
the premises at night slept over the stables; the two maid-servants
whom Peter employed only came by day. If Judy heard, she had not the
sense to heed; and old Peter himself, snuggling into his pillows,
merely turned over when the din reached his ears, muttering to himself
with righteous indignation that a body would think the girl would know
better nor behave that way, but let her shout as much as she liked an'
tire herself out, she'd be apt to be a bit quieter in the mornin'.
Meanwhile the little flame, which Roseen had first seen, had grown
apace. The slight crackling sound which had originally accompanied its
progress, was replaced by a sullen roar; volumes of ruddy smoke filled
the air; a pungent, peculiar smell penetrated even to Roseen's room,
almost suffocating her. Would no one hear, would no one heed? Taking
the poker she knocked on the floor, hoping to produce some response
from her grandfather, but finding that he did not answer she fell to
hammering and battering the lock of her door with such vigour and
good-will that at last she succeeded in breaking it. Rushing down
stairs, candle in hand, she burst in upon old Peter.
"Get up, grandfather, get up at wanst! the big rick is on fire, and
will be burnt to a cinder if you don't make haste." Old Peter sat up,
blinking at the light, and at first refusing to believe Roseen; but
when the girl flung open the window and he saw and heard for himself
that the alarm was only too well founded, he fairly burst out crying
like a child.
"Me rick, me beautiful rick! I'm ruined and destroyed entirely!
What'll I do at all?"
"Get up!" said Roseen sharply, "and let's get all the help we can.
I'll run out an' call Jack an' Barney, an' do you put on your clothes
an' fill the stable bucket."
She flew out, and after some trouble succeeded in rousing the men in
question, who, however, when they arrived on the scene and saw the
extent of the damage which had already been done, gave her little hope
of being able to arrest its progress.
"Sure it's all wan sheet of flame, none of us could get near it,"
cried one, pointing to the rick. "What good would a bucket or two of
wather do on that?"
"Well, do something can't yez?" cried Roseen. "There's no good in
standin' there, lookin' at it. I'll run off an' fetch Mike Clancy; he
has more sense nor the whole o' yez put together."
Off she sped, finding her way easily, even in the dark, along the
familiar path; but when she reached the cabin, and after much knocking
succeeded in arousing Mrs. Clancy, disappointment awaited her--Mike was
nowhere to be found.
The news went round the country next morning, first that old Peter
Rorke's famous hayrick and two of the neighbouring cornstacks were
burnt to the ground, and secondly that Michael Clancy had mysteriously
disappeared. By-and-by certain additional circumstances were reported
which caused people to connect the one fact with the other, and to
comment thereon in whispers, with divers nods and winks, and mysterious
jerks of the thumb. Michael was after havin' words with the ould
fellow, it was rumoured, on account of his bein' sweet on Roseen, an'
him and his ould father and mother were goin' to be put out o' their
little place. Sure no wonder the poor boy--Well, well, he'd have had
the time to get far enough off by this, an' it was nobody's business,
on'y his own, poor fellow!
It was whispered that Jack McEvoy had seen Mike on the evening
before, standing in the corner of the haggard lookin' about him "rale
distracted, ye'd say." "What are ye doin' there at all, this time o'
night?" said Jack. "Och, nothin' much," says Mike, "just streelin'
about." "Well," says Jack, "I'm afeard ye are after gettin' poor Roseen
into throuble; there's the great blow-up entirely goin' on beyant there
at the house. The masther's murdherin' Roseen for the way the two of
yez has been goin' on. He had her crying, the poor little girl," says
Jack; "I h'ard her through the windy," says he. "'Oh, grandfather,' she
says, 'I'll never spake to Mike agin, I give ye me word,' she says.
'I'll never ax to look at him,' says she. Well," Jack said, "if ye'd
seen the look that come over Mike's face! He staggered back, so he did.
'The ould devil,' says he, 'he's afther gettin' round her an' turnin'
her agin me.'" "Och, to be sure," says Jack, "he's a rale ould villain!
Is it true that he's puttin' yez all out in the road?" "He is," says
Mike, "but he'll be sorry for it yet?"
"Mind that now," some one would say, and the nods and the shakings
of the heads would become more mysterious than ever, and then the
gossips would begin to chuckle over Peter's discomfiture; the universal
verdict being that "It sarved him right, the covetious ould
blackguard!" Mrs. Clancy had told Roseen, weeping, that Mike was gone
off wid himself. He had come in late, very near distracted, the poor
boy, an' he had said "good-bye" to his father an' mother, an' had told
them he was goin' to England to try an' make a bit o' money at the
potato-harvest, the way they wouldn't have to go to the workhouse when
Mr. Rorke turned them out.
Gone without a word of farewell to her! Roseen betook herself
homewards full of bewildered pain; but kept her own counsel.
When the whispers anent the probable cause of his disappearance
reached her ears, she felt a momentary thrill of apprehension, but her
faith in her old friend survived this temptation. "Mike never done the
like," she said to herself, with a proud little toss of her head; even
when by--and--by the lad was openly accused of having been the cause of
the disaster, she took his part against all comers, making no secret of
her own intention, frustrated by her grandfather, of meeting him in the
haggard, and announcing boldly that it was on her account that Mike had
Old Peter, who had behaved like a man distracted while his property
was being consumed before his eyes, was the first to connect the
disappearance of Mike with this act of destruction, and declared he
would leave no stone unturned in his efforts to capture and punish him.
The police were soon on poor Mike's track, and before long he was
discovered in the act of embarking for Liverpool, and ignominiously
dragged back to the scene of his supposed exploit. In vain he denied
all knowledge of the deed, putting forward the same motive for his
absence as his mother had done; circumstances were adverse to him, and
the evidence against him sufficiently strong to justify the magistrate
in committing him for trial at the approaching assizes. In the meantime
the unfortunate fellow was despatched to the county gaol.
Peter Rorke remained in a condition of mind bordering upon frenzy;
some of his neighbours opined that he was goin' out of his wits
altogether, and there were moments when Roseen herself was in terror of
him. The old man's excitement took a most unpleasant form, his hatred
of Mike and his unfortunate parents being little less than rabid.
Not only were the poor old couple evicted with the least possible
delay, but their few "sticks of furniture," precious to themselves and
worth absolutely nothing to anybody else, were seized and carried off
to Monavoe--there being no bidders at the sale which Peter held in
"distraint for rent."
Poor old Pat was helped out of the cabin and insisted on seating
himself by the roadside to watch proceedings, though his wife tried
anxiously to persuade him to accept at once the hospitality pressed
upon them by sympathetic neighbours.
"Lave me alone," he growled, "I'll see this out, so I will. Och,
bedad, they are afther liftin' out the bed now--mind it doesn't fall to
pieces on yez before yez get it into the cart. Troth, ould Peter
himself ought to sleep in that iligant bed; it's the pleasant dhrames
"It doesn't become ye to be talkin' that way, Pat," cried "Herself,"
flushed and weeping; "that was me mother's bed, so it was. Oh dear, oh
dear! that I should live to see it taken off of us that way! And
there's me pot that I biled mornin' an' evenin' these years an' years!"
"Och, musha, lave the pot," retorted Pat; "sure what good is the pot
to us when we haven't a bit to put in it? Troth, now the ould sckamer
beyant has Mike in prison, we may give up altogether. Yourself an' me
will soon be undher the Daisy-quilt, never fear. There they have me
ould chair, now," he added sardonically; "troth it looks well cocked up
there. Mind the china now, Jack McEvoy; herself here thinks there isn't
the like in the country,--have ye all now, the two mugs an' the three
plates, an' the cups an' saucers, an' the little taypot with the
cracked spout? Ah, don't be forgettin' the little jug though, the
little weeny jug with a rose on it. Sure, what are ye crying for,
woman! Isn't it great grandeur for the little jug to be goin' up to
Monavoe? Bedad, ould Peter'll be apt to be puttin' it undher a glass
case on the chimley-piece!"
Their friends and neighbours gathering round gazed with puzzled
looks at the old man as he sat enthroned on his heap of stones, his
knotted trembling hands leaning on a blackthorn stick, his face
flushed, and his eyes blazing under their shaggy white brows. They
could scarcely understand his stoicism; Mrs. Clancy's lamentations were
far more comprehensible to them.
"I won't be in it long," she wailed, "throublin' anybody. Sure, what
matther if it's in the poorhouse the two of us ends our days, now poor
Mike has been sent to gaol on us! Ah! God bless us! I could never hould
up me head agin afther that."
"God help ye!" commented a bystander. "Don't be frettin' that a-way,
ma'am; sure even if he's in gaol itself, he'll be out agin before ye
know where yez are an' maybe they wouldn't keep him in it at all."
"'Deed then they had a right to let him out at wanst," groaned Mrs.
Clancy from beneath her apron. "The Lord knows he never done what
they're afther sayin' he done."
"Hothen, indeed, I wouldn't make too sure of that," put in Pat. "Why
wouldn't he do it? Bedad, he'ud have done well if he done twice as
much. No, but he had a right to have burnt the ould villain in his bed
an' got shut of him out-an'-out--the on'y mistake the poor fellow made,
was lettin' him off so aisy."
"Whisht, whisht! in the name of goodness! God bless us! what is it
ye're sayin' at all? Sure, poor Mike's as innocent as a lamb."
"Heth, he's the fine lamb!" retorted the father sarcastically.
"Well, I believe they have everything now, down to the little creepy.
Good luck to ye, Jack McEvoy; mind how ye go takin' it up the
road--don't be dhroppin' any of it out o' the cart. Give me compliments
to Mr. Rorke, and tell him I hope he'll enjoy my iligant furnitur, an'
much good may it do him!"
Jack McEvoy, one of Peter's men, climbed into the cart sheepishly
enough and drove off. Once more the neighbours pressed round the
homeless old pair, quarrelling for the honour of harbouring them.
"It's coming along wid me they are," cried one, "aren't yez now?
sure of course they are. Isn't mine the biggest house anywhere in
"Ah, but it's that far off," argued another. "Look at the length of
time it 'ud take them to be gettin' there, an' the two of them so wake
on their legs, God help them! No, but it'll be betther for them step
down to my little place that's handy. An' it ud' take them no time at
all to get there."
"Good gracious, woman, where would ye put them in that little
shebeen--sure there isn't room in it for your own childer. God bless
them! the fine childer they are too--but where in the world would you
find a corner for Misther and Mrs. Clancy?"
"Troth, I'll find a corner aisy enough; and it wouldn't do a
ha'porth of harm to the two little fellows if they were to sleep for a
few nights undher the turf stack outside. It's grand warm weather we
are havin', Glory be to Goodness, an' they'd sleep as sound as a bell
by the side of it."
"Oh, not at all, ma'am," put in Mrs. Clancy, "we wouldn't dhrame to
be puttin' ye about that much; the poor little fellows might be gettin'
their deaths o' cold on ye. Indeed it doesn't matther where we go; we
are a throuble to every wan. I wisht the Lord 'ud take us out of it
altogether," she added dismally; "I'd sooner be in the old gully-hole
at wanst nor be goin' to the poorhouse, and, dear knows, that's where
we'll have to go."
"Not wan bit, then," cried Pat resolutely, "not wan fut will ye iver
put in the poorhouse, woman, nor me neither. We'll be back in the ould
place here yit, see if we aren't. Nobody 'ud go in it on'y ourselves,
an' it'll be there waitin' for us till the poor boy comes out an' puts
us back in it."
The neighbours glanced from one to the other, and by common accord
decided to humour the old man.
"To be sure ye will, Misther Clancy. The two of yez will be back
there before we can turn round, an' Mike will be apt to be gettin' your
bits o' things back for yez too. Sure the old rogue up there will have
no call to keep them wanst the boy has paid up the bit yez owe him."
"Troth, it'll be no time at all before you're back, Pat, an' ye had
a right to lave talkin' that way about the poorhouse, ma'am. There
isn't a wan of us that 'ud ever let yez go there, bad luck to it! No,
"Aye, we'll be back yet in the ould little place," repeated Pat with
conviction, "we will so; come on out o' that, Mary, an' make up your
mind where it is we're goin' this night. Sure the craturs here is
fightin' for the honour of havin' us. Stop turnin' your head round now;
the place won't run away on ye till we're back in it."
All the neighbours were indeed vying with each other in their
anxiety to entertain and comfort the helpless old pair, and prove at
once their sympathy with them in their trouble and their indignation
with Peter Rorke.
"He done it just out of spite, mind ye," they said one to the other.
"Wasn't he afther promisin' Mike to let him work out the thrifle o'
rent they were owin?"
"Aye! he is the outrageousest ould villain that ever stepped," was
the general verdict. Nevertheless, as in all communities there is
generally one ill-conditioned person, even in the little village of
Donoughmor there was to be found a time-server who, wishing for reasons
of his own to ingratiate himself with Peter Rorke, was base enough to
report to him old Pat Clancy's hasty words.
"He's saying he wished Mike had burnt ye in your bed, an' more by
token," added Peter's informant, "he's tellin' every wan that it'll be
no time at all before he's back in his own place again the same as ever
he was, an' that you may do what ye like on him, he doesn't care."
"He says that, does he?" cried Peter, crimson with fury; "I'll soon
show him he's makin' a bit of a mistake. 'Pon me word, did ever anybody
hear the like o' that?"
"Well, that's what he says," repeated the other. "'I wisht,' he
says, 'that Mike had burnt the ould villain in his bed,' says he.
That's the very word he said, 'the ould villain' he says; 'an' got shut
of him,' says he, 'but it'll be no time at all before herself an' me is
back in the ould place,' he says. He did so--it's the truth I'm tellin'
ye, that's the very way he said it."
"I'll show him different then," repeated Peter. "I wisht I'd thought
of it first off--the way he'd have seen it."
"An' what's that, sir?"
"You'll soon see. 'Pon me word, I wisht I had him there now in his
bed, the ould raskil, the way I could do on him what he's wishin' his
spalpeen of a son had done on me. Are ye there, Pat?" he cried, raising
"I am, sir," returned some one from the region of the stables.
"Is Barney there?"
"Bring him along wid ye then; an' call Jack McEvoy and a couple more
of the boys. Bring a pick wid ye, an' a couple of them hatchets--an'
"Sir?" replied Pat, suddenly appearing from behind the stable-wall.
"Run round to the kitchen an' fetch the big bottle of paraffin off
o' the long shelf there."
"I will, sir. Where will we be goin' to, sir?"
"I have a little job for yous to do down at Donoughmor," said Peter.
"Hurry up now the whole of yous; I don't want to be losin' more time
over it nor I can help."
The officious visitor, finding that matters were likely to become
more unpleasant than he had anticipated, disappeared while preparations
were going forward, and it was only at the head of his own startled and
unwilling band of followers that Peter at length sallied forth. Not a
word said Peter Rorke until he reached the Clancys' deserted cabin, and
with his own hands set fire to the thatch; then falling back a step or
two he rubbed his hands and chuckled.
"There, now," he cried, "let us see if I can't make near as good a
bonfire as Mike Clancy himself! Throw a sup more paraffin on, you, Pat;
now stand back all of yous, an' look at the fine blaze. As soon as we
have the roof off of it, you can all set to work an' pull the whole
place down. Then we'll see if the Clancys will come to their own again,
as the ould blackguard Pat keeps tellin' every one. I don't think it'll
be worth his while to step back in it when I've done with it."
The poor little rotten roof, mossgrown as it was, did not burn as
rapidly as Peter could have wished, but by dint of much coaxing and a
plentiful sprinkling of paraffin, the fire at last gained ground, and a
dense smoke began to issue from the smouldering thatch. Peter coughed
and choked, and at last calling out to his men that he would be with
them again as soon as that part of the job was over, climbed up the
rocky hillside, pausing only when he had reached the summit, and
turning round with a long gasping breath. The air was clearer there,
and it pleased him to look down from this eminence on his destructive
work. The smoke of the burning roof hung over the little dwelling as
though to hide its degradation; jets of flame leaped through it now and
then; from time to time one of his men approached with the bottle of
paraffin, but the rest stood together looking on, somewhat sullenly.
Farther down the lane a few women and old folks had gathered together;
from his altitude Peter watched them, marking their eager gestures and
imagining the horror and disgust in their faces. "Let them say what
they like," he muttered to himself grimly, "I'll not leave a bit o' the
place standin'. Aye! they may curse an' swear as much as they like, it
doesn't hurt me."
Suddenly he bethought him how Mike had threatened him before setting
fire to his rick; his hard-heartedness would bring a curse upon him,
the boy had said. Peter asked himself now, with a dry chuckle, upon
whom the curse had fallen most heavily. It was certainly a piece of bad
luck to lose his splendid rick, but he had paid the villains well out
for it. There was Mike in gaol, the old people living on the charity of
their neighbours, with no prospect before them but to end their days in
the workhouse; their goods scattered, their cabin razed to the
ground--who was the most accursed?
Ha! one of those women down there had fallen on her knees and was
raising her hands to heaven; another crone was shaking her fist in his
direction. Let them pray and let them threaten--Peter was not afraid of
anything or anybody, neither God nor man--not of the devil himself!
A sudden sound of stones falling just behind him made him turn round
quickly. He could see nothing, but a curious scraping and rustling were
still to be heard. He was standing almost beneath a low stone wall
which traversed the summit. The sound appeared to him to come from a
spot immediately above his head; he looked up and could see through a
fissure in the wall what seemed to be a moving form. His gaze remaining
fixed and fascinated on this object, distinguished at last a dark face
with two gleaming eyes surmounted by horns. All Peter Rorke's
vaunted courage deserted him; conscience-stricken and smitten by sudden
agonising fears, he uttered a shrill quavering scream and began to
totter down the hill with all the speed he could muster.
The steep path had been rendered more slippery than usual by recent
rain, and afforded very insecure footing. Peter, rushing blindly
forward, soon lost all control over his limbs, and fell at last,
rolling over and over until he dropped on the rocks below.
His men, hastening to his assistance, hardly dared to raise him from
the ground, and when they had at last mustered courage to do so, they
were under the firm belief that it was the corpse of their master which
they were carrying home. But Peter Rorke was not dead yet, and to the
surprise of all who had known him, soon demonstrated that he was going
to cheat a certain Old Gentleman--who had been considered his intimate
friend during his long life--of his company at the close of it. His end
in fact was most edifying. He made his peace with both God and man
before he departed. To the last he remained persuaded that the horned
face, which had peered at him through the ruins of Donoughmor, was that
of the devil himself.
The explanation that the McEvoys' goat, which had been tethered on
the hill, had broken loose and clambered up the ruined wall did not
seem to him to have any bearing on the case. It was his belief that the
"Ould Boy" had somewhat prematurely appeared to claim him; and his most
anxious endeavour was to cheat him of his due. So Peter accomplished
deeds which, under other circumstances, would have been impossible to
him. He made his will to begin with, leaving a good deal of money in
charity, and the bulk of his fortune to Roseen; he left directions that
the Clancys were to be reinstated in their cabin and emphatically
announced that he forgave Mike. When this last item, by the way, was
reported to Pat, the old man's indignation knew no bounds.
Peter's last hours were not, however, disturbed by any hint as to
the Clancys' attitude, and it was with the most peaceful and resigned
disposition that he, at last, betook himself to another world, with the
full assurance that it would prove a better one.
When Roseen had in some measure recovered from the shock of her
grandfather's death, her thoughts turned at once to the Clancys. One of
the family indeed had never been absent from them, and it was with
surprise and indignation that she learnt that old Peter's forgiveness
would in no manner affect Mike's actual position. The crime of which he
was accused was so serious in character that he would have to await his
trial at the approaching Sessions.
For his parents, however, something could be done, and Roseen, now
finding herself mistress of Monavoe and all who dwelt there, proceeded
to give orders right and left with an assurance which surprised those
who had formerly known her. Injunctions were issued that the Clancys'
cottage should be re-roofed and made habitable without delay, and,
meanwhile, she announced her intention of taking the old couple to live
with her at Monavoe. Many were the jokes and comments made upon this
act of hers; a few people of what had now become her own standing in
the neighbourhood offered her sage pieces of advice; some of her former
cronies laughed and inquired if she were going to set up a home for
incurables, as what between ould Judy that had no sense to speak of,
an' Pat Clancy with ne'er a sound limb in his body, and his wife, God
help her! hardly able to crawl with rheumatics, she would have her
hands full up there. Roseen thanked her advisers kindly and laughed
with the jokers, and went her own way.
One fine morning, her smart outside car drove up to the hospitable
cabin which had sheltered the Clancys, and Pat and his wife were with
some difficulty hoisted on to it. Some twenty or thirty neighbours
kindly escorted them, "to hould them on for fear they might fall, the
craturs!" With a deal of shouting and huzzahing, the little procession
halted at length at Monavoe, where Roseen's health was drunk in due
form, and then Mike's, and then Pat's, and then Mrs. Clancy's, and then
Roseen's again; and at last the escort went reluctantly homewards, and
Roseen conveyed her charges to the apartment she destined for them. It
was a comfortable room on the ground floor, larger than the whole of
the Clancys' former dwelling, which, nevertheless, it resembled oddly
in many particulars. For, lo and behold! there in the corner stood
their own venerable four-poster, and drawn up by the hearth was Pat's
particular elbow-chair; all their possessions were there in fact,
Roseen having carefully collected them previous to installing their
owners--not even the little creepy-stool was absent.
Pat Clancy, who had maintained a certain dignified reserve all day,
not quite liking the notion of being regarded as Roseen's pensioner,
and not being certain whether this new move did not involve a sacrifice
of independence, was now fairly overcome. "God bless you, me child!" he
said brokenly, "ye were always the good little girl, Roseen. Herself
and me will be quite at home here."
"Ah then, musha, look at me pot," cried Mrs. Clancy, who had been
troubled by no scruples and whose tongue had been wagging freely during
the course of their transit to Monavoe. "Look at me own i
-dentical pot that has biled for me ever since we got married! I declare
I could very near kiss it! I could never fancy any stir-about the same
as what come out o' that pot! And there's the dresser an' all me cups
and saucers widout so much as a crack on them. Well now, who'd ever
fancy anybody that thoughtful? Sure we'll be in clover here--if only we
had poor Mike out o' gaol!"
"He'll be out soon, never fear," cried Roseen. "We'll get a grand
clever lawyer from Dublin to come an' spake for him, see if we don't.
But rest yourself now, Mr. Clancy, ye'll be tired afther the drive.
Maybe Mrs. Clancy would like to wet a grain o' tay for ye. Ye'll find
plenty there, ma'am, in the little caddy, an' I'll send up Judy with a
bit o' griddle cake."
"God bless ye, alanna!" said Mrs. Clancy, with shining eyes; "I'll
set on me own little kettle this minute; it's a grand little wan to
bile in a hurry, an' I'll make himself a cup of tay in no time."
Roseen withdrew with a bright nod, her innate delicacy prompting her
to leave the couple to themselves for a time. Mrs. Clancy's own
particular little rusty kettle was soon singing merrily on the hob, and
Judy presently appeared with the griddle cake and a roll of butter of
Roseen's own making.
"She's afther fetchin' it herself from the dairy," she remarked.
"It's herself has the grand hand for butter, God bless her!"
"Ahmin!" said Pat emphatically, "she's the grand little girl
altogether, there's not her aiquals in Ireland."
"Aye, indeed," chimed in his wife, "an' lookit how humble she is--no
more stuck up now nor she was when she was a little slip of a colleen,
leppin' about on the Rock, beyant."
"An' she has the fine fortun', mind ye," said Judy proudly, "the
Masther left her a power o' money--'deed an' he did, a power o' money!"
"Bedad, he must have left her a good bit," agreed Pat meditatively,
"and she desarves it all. 'Pon me word, I wisht Mike had left that ould
rick alone. Sure, it's her that's the loser now. It's into her pocket
all that fine money 'ud be comin'."
"Musha," exclaimed "Herself," "I declare I am sick an' tired hearing
ye goin' on that way, an' me tellin' ye twenty times a day that it is
the last thing poor Mike 'ud do. He would never dhrame o' such a thing,
him that wouldn't hurt a fly. Many a time I seen him drivin' home the
sheep, an' he'd have his heart scalded wid them runnin' this way an'
that, an' he'd niver offer to rise a stick to them, or so much as to
peg a stone at them."
"Ah, ha! then, maybe he didn't!" cried Pat triumphantly; "I know me
own son as well as ye do, ma'am, an' he has a fine sperrit of his own
as quiet as he is. There now! Who done it if he didn't? Tell me that if
"Sure them hayricks often and often goes on fire of themselves,"
retorted Mrs. Clancy, flushed and tearful; "ye know that as well as me,
Pat. Weren't they at the loss of a lovely stack down there at McEvoy's,
four year ago? No, it was five, I believe--look at that now."
Pat laughed derisively. "'Pon me word, Mary, you have no more sense
nor herself there," nodding towards Judy. "Sure, McEvoy's rick took
fire because they were afther stackin' it, an' it wet. Whoever heard of
a three-year-old rick takin' fire of itself, an' every bit of it as dry
as a bone?"
"Troth it was," put in Judy, "powerful dry, ma'am. Sure, when a
little spark got on it out o' me pipe it burnt up the same as if it was
As she spoke she drew her stool up to the table; she was unusually
loquacious and sensible that day. The potations in which she, in common
with the other members of Roseen's establishment at Monavoe, had
indulged having apparently at once loosened her tongue and brightened
Pat's face suddenly changed; his eyes flashed, and his voice shook
when next he spoke, though he endeavoured to assume a casual air.
"An' was it smokin' alongside o' the rick you were, Judy? When was
"Sure, it was the very night I lost me pipe," replied Judy. "Roseen
bid me go out an' watch for Mike an' tell him the Masther had her
locked in an' she couldn't get out to spake to him."
The Clancys looked at each other; the old man making an imperative
sign to his wife to keep silent.
"That was the very night the rick was burnt down," he observed; "ye
didn't see any one go near it, did ye?"
"Aye, indeed, it was the very night," agreed Judy; "I lost me lovely
pipe that night too," she added plaintively.
"Did ye, now?" said Pat, adding in a menacing aside to his wife:
"Woman, I'll be the death of ye if ye say a word now! Lave her to me.
Well, Judy, it was a poor case your losin' your pipe that way. I wonder
what become of it at all? Ye didn't see any one comin', did ye, who
would be apt to pick it up? Give the woman some tay, Mary, can't ye see
Mrs. Clancy poured out the tea with a shaking hand, and Judy,
spilling some into her saucer, proceeded to blow it vigorously, her
hosts with difficulty restraining their impatience the while.
"Beautiful tay, ma'am!" she remarked, after gulping down the first
instalment. "Elegant tay now, isn't it? Herself never gives less nor
two an' thruppence a pound for it."
"Doesn't she now," cried Pat; "well, an' ye never seen anybody goin'
near that rick?"
"Ne'er a wan at all," replied Judy, collecting herself.
"Ye didn't see Mike then?"
"Well, I'll tell ye. I was sittin' wid me back to the rick waitin'
for him, an' he didn't come, an' I fell asleep, an' when I woke up I
couldn't for the life of me find me bit of a pipe, not a sign of it was
in it at all." Here Judy began to weep. "Me heart's broke ever since! I
just laid it out o' me hand for a minute, and ne'er a bit o' me could
find it since--and--Och! och! Mr. Clancy, ow--wh! Murdher! What are ye
doing at all?" For old Pat had struggled from his chair, and hobbling
across to where Judy sat, had seized her by the shoulder, the grip of
his one sound hand being as the grip of a vice.
"Woman!" he cried, "it's you that's afther bein' the ruination of me
boy! It's you that set fire to the rick wid that ould mischeevious pipe
o' yours! An' there, ye let him be sent to gaol an' the whole of us be
disgraced for what you are afther doin'. 'Pon me word, I could throttle
ye this minute."
Mrs. Clancy ran screaming out of the room, bursting in upon Roseen
with the announcement in the same breath that "Himself would be the
death of ould Judy before he was done wid her," and that "poor Mike
must be fetched out o' gaol widout the loss of a minute."
Roseen, rushing to the scene of action, found indeed a prodigious
uproar going on. Old Pat, who until then had been thoroughly convinced
that his son had accomplished the destruction of Peter Rorke's hayrick,
could not now restrain his indignation on learning that he had been
wrongfully accused; and in the intervals of proclaiming at the top of
his voice more energetically than even "Herself" in the past that
"anybody wid a grain o' sense 'ud know poor Mike 'ud be the last one in
the world to go disgracing himself that way," was shaking Judy
backwards and forwards till, as she subsequently declared, she nearly
lost her life.
"'Pon me word," he cried, when with some difficulty and a certain
amount of physical force he had been separated from his victim, "that's
the ould scut yez ought to be clappin' into gaol! Did anybody ever hear
the like? She must go smokin' her dirty ould pipe under the loveliest
rick in the country--sure, that rick is worth its weight in gould these
times--an' settin' it on fire an' bringin' ruination an' destruction on
her misthress as well as on me poor innocent boy! I declare hangin' 'ud
be too good for her!"
"Didn't I tell ye," cried Mrs. Clancy triumphantly, "that Mike never
went next or nigh that rick?"
"Of course ye did. Anybody 'ud know that. Bedad, Mike 'ud know
better nor do anythin' that senseless an' mischeevious. Sure, what good
'ud it do anybody to go burnin' that beautiful hay? 'Pon me word,
Roseen, if I was you I'd walk that lady straight off to the
Judy, meanwhile, with shrill wails and much rocking backwards and
forwards, was incoherently declaring that she wouldn't sit there to be
murdhered, an' she didn't know why they was all shoutin' at her that
way, an' that--as the culmination of woe--she'd lost her lovely pipe.
After some time Roseen succeeded in calming the belligerents, and in
gathering the sense of their various statements.
Trembling with eagerness and excitement, she led Judy to the
stackyard, and there, after much coaxing and persuasion, induced her to
describe her position on the fateful night in question.
"I was sittin' here," announced Judy, pointing to a certain spot.
"You had your back to the rick then?" said Roseen, "ye can't see the
haggard gate at all from here. No wonder ye didn't see Mike."
"I was tired waitin' for him," said Judy. "I just put me pipe out o'
me hand," she added meditatively. "I was thinkin' of goin' to look for
him--and when I woke up it was black night an' I couldn't find--"
Suddenly she uttered a shrill scream, and darting forward, stooped
over one of the stone supports which had formerly upheld old Peter's
beloved rick, eagerly groping in a certain little fissure in the rough
stone, almost hidden beneath the horizontal slab which surmounted it.
"Sure, there it is!" she cried triumphantly, producing indeed the
grimy little object so dear to her heart. "I have it now! there's me
darlin' pipe! I was afther forgettin' I put it there; it was turned
upside down in the crack an' all me baccy's spilt on me!"
Roseen could at first scarcely believe her own eyes and ears; this
then was the solution of the mystery which had so long baffled them.
Poor old Judy, growing sleepy and tired after her long wait, had laid
her pipe on one side intending to rise and look for Mike, but, overcome
by drowsiness, she had slept instead, and on awaking had forgotten the
spot where she had stowed her treasure. The little pipe, slipping
downwards in the crack, had turned over, upsetting its contents upon
the loose hay beneath the rick, which being, as Judy had related, dry
as tinder, quickly caught fire from the smouldering embers. A strong
breeze had arisen that night, and the flame had spread to the stack
itself with the results which Roseen knew. The pipe that had done all
the damage, being snugly stowed away beneath the overhanging slab of
stone, had told no tales; but now its evidence was conclusive, and
while Judy rapturously embraced and mumbled over it, Roseen fell upon
her knees and thanked God.
It was on a bright October morning that Mike was released from
prison, but in spite of the joys of regained liberty and the warm
congratulations of his friends, the poor fellow looked downcast and
bewildered enough when he came forth into the sunshiny world. Roseen
had sent her car for him to the prison door, and Mike, releasing
himself at length from the handshakes of the friends who awaited him
outside, and being anxious to dispense with their escort, had induced
the driver, with a hasty whispered word or two, to whip up the
fast-trotting mare, which had thereupon started at a break-neck pace
down the street, soon leaving the astonished convoy far behind.
"Bedad, ye are in a terrible hurry altogether," remarked Jack
McEvoy, who happened to be driving. "I suppose ye are in a hurry to get
to Monavoe." He laughed and winked. "Begorrah, if the ould Masther
could lift his head out o' the grave, I wonder what he'd say at me
goin' to fetch a husband for his granddaughter out o' Mount Kennedy
Mike flushed to the roots of his hair and turned his back more
completely on his opposite neighbour.
"Sure, ye needn't think shame o' that," went on Jack, quick to
perceive that the joke was not appreciated. "If ye burnt the rick
itself, there's nobody hereabouts but 'ud say ye done right. But your
father's breaking his heart now bekase the loss o' the rick 'ull be out
o' your own pocket."
"What call has he to say any such thing at all?" said Mike, glancing
"Och, bedad, doesn't every one know the way it is between the two of
yez? Sure, there never was a fellow in such luck as yourself, Mike
Clancy! Ye'll be the richest man between this and County Cork, an' let
alone the fortun', ye'll be havin' the greatest jewel of a wife. 'Pon
me word, if ye was to see the Misthress now of a Sunday!"
"Who's that?" said Mike absently.
"The Misthress--Miss Rorke!"
"Oh, aye, of course, Miss Rorke is the Misthress now," mused Mike to
"Well, if ye was to see her in her black silky dress an' the
beautiful feathers in her hat, an' her gould watch and chain an'
all--'pon me word, ye'd think it was the Queen."
Clancy did not answer, and McEvoy, more and more anxious to retrieve
his former error, waxed eloquent on the subject of Roseen, her beauty,
her wealth, and the bounties she lavished all round her.
"Look at the way she whipped off your father and mother there," he
remarked at last, "and the comfort she keeps them in! I b'lieve the
improvement in them since they went up above there is somethin'"--Jack
paused for an adjective and finally selected "outrageous." "Tay, they
do be tellin' me, at two and thruppence a pound no less, an' mate wanst
and twice in the day, an' a sup o' punch at night the way they'd sleep
sound! Sure, it's somethin' altogether"--again a
Jack actually leaned across the well of the car to peer into Mike's
face, but alas! the more choice and picturesque was his language, the
deeper seemed to be the gloom of Michael Clancy. At last, when within a
few yards of Donoughmor, Mike abruptly requested to be set down there,
and after thanking the man in somewhat tremulous tones, walked away
rapidly in the direction of his former home.
"Sure, what's the good of your going there?" shouted McEvoy, "the
roof is off of it yet, an' not a soul about. Come on home wid ye, can't
"No, thank ye," said Mike, without turning his head. The car drove
on, and soon Mike stood within his dismantled home. There had been some
delay in procuring wood for the new rafters and the poor roofless,
smoked-begrimed walls looked very forlorn. Mike glanced round him and
groaned aloud; he could have wept, so great was the turmoil in his
heart and in his mind. Everything was changed, it seemed to him;
everything was gone. Could this poor little place ever be home again?
How silent it was now that the old father was not cracking his jokes in
the corner! How empty now that the mother's spare form was absent! They
were safe and sound at Monavoe, he knew, "well looked after," as the
driver had told him, by "Miss Rorke" herself, but for the time being it
almost seemed to him as though they were dead. As for Roseen, she was
Miss Rorke now, the Mistress, the owner of Monavoe--his Roseen
was gone too!
His heart was still sore at the recollection of his bitter
disappointment on the fateful evening when the rick was burnt. She had
not come to meet him on that night of all nights in the year! He knew,
through Jack McEvoy, that she had promised her grandfather never to
speak to him again. She had broken faith with him. All through these
weary weeks in prison, the anguish of this thought had deadened all his
other sufferings and anxieties, but in any case, how could he ever
expect her, amid her new grandeurs, to think of him as she used to do?
She had the best heart in the world, he knew that, and wouldn't ask to
do anything that was not kind; she'd try to make up as well as she
could for the "differ of things" by doing all in her power for his
father and mother and by befriending him. It had been mainly through
her exertions that he had been released, and she had sent her own car
to meet him--oh, to be sure she had done that! But as to consenting to
be his sweetheart again, sure, goodness knew, Michael could never
"Afther me bein' in prison an' all!" he said to himself mournfully.
"I had a right to be givin' up thinkin' of her altogether."
He left the cabin presently and climbed the hill, entering the ruins
and seating himself on the great stone slab on one side of the
banqueting-hall. By-and-by, he would have to go to Monavoe to see his
parents, but he would wait for a little while first; he shrank from the
meeting with Roseen. He intended to convey to her straightway his sense
of the distance between them, and his determination to take no
advantage of their former intimacy; but it was hard, and Mike, crushed
and shaken by the trouble and anxiety of mind which he had recently
undergone, suffering in every fibre from an unaccountable sense of
desolation, felt that his heart failed him.
But all at once a light foot sounded on the stone steps behind him,
and Roseen came quickly forward to the rocky recess. Her face was pale,
and there were tears in her eyes; her attire, by no means so
magnificent as that which Michael had depicted to himself, was somewhat
disordered; she had not even taken the trouble to assume a hat, and her
curly hair was blown about her brow, so that she looked very like the
little Roseen of old.
"Michael Clancy," she cried, "what did I do to ye that ye wouldn't
come to see me?"
Mike rallied all his self-possession.
"Ye never done anything that was not kind, Miss Rorke," he said,
standing up and removing his hat, "and I am truly grateful."
Roseen's face quivered. "Why are ye talkin' to me that way, Mike?
I'm no more Miss Rorke to you now nor I have ever been. Sure, ye are
not angry," she added piteously, "at me not goin' to meet ye on the
car? I was afeard that every wan would be talkin' an' tormentin' us."
"Indeed, it wouldn't have become you at all," responded Mike, still
standing, hat in hand, and speaking with a kind of aggressive humility,
"and it 'ud be far from me to be expectin' such a thing."
Roseen knit her brows and tapped her foot impatiently, the angry
tears now standing on her cheeks.
"What is it ye are driving at at all?" she cried; "I can't for the
life of me make out what it is ye be up to. It 'ud have become me well
enough to go meet ye, if it wasn't for the way people 'ud be goin' on."
"Indeed, of coorse, ye'll have to be mindin' yourself," agreed Mike,
with cold politeness. "People's always ready enough to be gossipin' and
gabbin' about any young lady."
"Young lady, fiddlesticks!" cried Roseen. "If ye go on that way I'll
take ye by the two shoulders an' shake ye--it's all I can do now to
keep me hands off o' ye! What in the name of goodness would ye be at?
I'm not a young lady no more nor ye are, I am just Roseen, the same as
ever I was. It's you that's turned nasty and contrairy."
"Not at all!" replied Mike, still frostily. "I'm only wishful to let
ye understand that I know me place, miss, an' would never think of
Roseen suddenly collapsed on the stone slab and began to sob, making
a good deal of noise over it and drying her eyes with the corner of her
skirt, not being at that moment equipped with an apron.
"Ye're a nasty, bitther, disagree'ble ould fellow," she remarked
inarticulately, "an' I hate ye."
Mike had turned his back to her the better to intrench himself in
his fortress of reserve, but now he could not help stealing a glance at
her from over his shoulder. There sat Roseen, still vigorously sobbing,
her feet dangling downward as she sat on her high perch, her shoulders
heaving, her ruffled brown head drooping, the tears forcing their way
through fingers that were just as sunburnt as of old. Many a time had
Mike seen her give way to paroxysms of childish woe, and comforted her
with loving words and no less loving kisses. The recollection flashed
across him now, and he immediately looked away again, stiffening
himself more than ever.
"I thought the day 'ud never come," lamented Roseen, "when ye would
be back wid me. I never closed an eye last night countin' the time an'
me heart leppin' that much for joy, that the bed shook undher me--an'
this is the way ye go trate me when ye do come home!"
Mike turned round quickly. "Ah, Roseen, can't ye whisht?" he cried;
"sure it's twice as bad for me as for you. Sure, asthore,"--he couldn't
for the life of him prevent that little word from slipping in--"it's
only thrying to do me duty I am; it 'ud never do at all for you an' me
to be goin' on the same as we used to do, and I wouldn't like yourself
nor any wan to be thinkin' I'd be forgettin' the differ there is
between the two of us now."
Roseen looked up, her blue eyes still drowned in tears, but just the
suspicion of a smile beginning to creep about her mouth.
"Troth!" she said with a toss of her head, "the on'y differ there is
in it is that I am the same as ever I was, an' you have turned crabby
"'Deed then, I'm not," rejoined Mike, adding hotly, "I'd have ye
remember, Roseen, it's you that changed first. Why didn't ye come to me
that evenin' at the haggard gate the way you always did? And me in
throuble wi' all an' breaking me heart for a word from ye!"
The dignified hero was gone for the nonce, and look and tone were
those of a youthful and offended lover. Roseen immediately fired up
"God give me patience!" she cried, "I never come acrass such a
contrairy boy in me life! Didn't I nearly lep out o' the windy to come
to ye? Sure, me grandfather had me locked in!"
"Oh that, indeed!" said Mike, his face brightening for a moment, but
immediately clouding over again, "but a man told me that same night,
that he h'ard ye sayin' ye'd never spake to me agin nor so much as look
"He tould you a lie then," said Roseen with flashing eyes; "I never
said that--oh, aye, to be sure, I believe I did though, but ye have no
call to be castin' that up at me, Mike; if I did itself, I done it for
love of you. Now! When me grandfather tould me he was goin' to put your
father and mother out on the road I begged and prayed an' done
everythin' I could to persuade him to give up the notion, an' at last
says I, 'Well, grandfather,' says I, 'I'll promise never to speak to
Mike agin,' says I,' nor so much as look at him,' says I, 'if ye'll
only let them stop in it.' Sure, whoever it was went carryin' stories
to ye must have been hard set to find somethin' to say if they brought
up that, an' you had no call to be listenin' to them. I'd soon stop the
mouth of any wan that went about makin' out tales about you."
Never had she looked more bewitching than in her anger; her great
blue eyes, open to their fullest extent, were flashing with scorn and
wrath though the big tears still hung on their long lashes. The little
curled upper lip showed glistening white teeth, the colour came and
went in the pretty dimpled cheeks--cheeks that looked so soft and
inviting. Mike bit his lips and thrust his hands in the depths of his
ragged pockets, clenching them in the effort to preserve his
self-control. He could not help a flash of joy lighting up his face for
a moment, but he turned away to hide it. Wasn't she the jewel of the
world altogether, an' how could he ever have been such a gomeril as to
doubt her? But all the same he must mind himself. It was not for the
likes of him to be thinking of her that way. Sure, what matter if she
had been his sweetheart twenty times over in days gone by--she could
never be his sweetheart now. Stiffening himself therefore and again
resuming his lofty tone, he proceeded: "Indeed I am truly grateful to
you, Miss Rorke, for all your goodness an' all ye done for me father
and mother. Jack McEvoy's afther tellin' me that they are in the height
o' comfort. Indeed I'd never have thought of lookin' for them there at
all; I never have expected you to be puttin' yourself about that way
"An' why wouldn't they be with me?" cried Roseen quickly. "Isn't it
the right place for them to be? They had a right to be stoppin' there
altogether, on'y that they are that fond of their own little place I
don't think they 'ud ever contint themselves."
Mike suddenly sat down on the slab, but at a very discreet distance
from Roseen. He cleared his throat and looked towards her, but seemed
to find a difficulty in speaking. Roseen began to swing one of the
little pendant feet and looked away into the blue distance.
"Sure," she resumed in an indifferent tone, after a moment's pause,
"when their own house is not ready for them, the best place for them to
be in is their son's."
The colour rushed over Mike's cheek and brow; his heart began to
beat violently, and his limbs to tremble. There was a long silence,
broken only by the old familiar song of the lark sounding jubilantly
from above their heads; the rustling of the tall fawn-coloured grasses
that grew among the stones, and the distant faint lowing of cattle.
The outline of Roseen's pretty face and head stood out cameo-like
against the background of sunlit stone; Mike's gaze fastened itself
there and could not detach itself. There was a long pause, then with a
great effort he forced himself to speak.
"Roseen, darlint, there's not a ha'porth of good the two of us goin'
on this a-way; we may as well talk out plain. Ye're the best-natured
an' kindest-hearted little girl in the wide world, God bless ye!--"
Roseen drooped her head a little demurely, the colour mantling in
her face now, and dimples coming and going about her mouth.
"But," resumed the young man, steadying his voice, "I wouldn't take
advantage of ye, alanna, an' let ye do what ye'd be apt to be sorry for
afther a while. It wouldn't do at all for ye to be takin' up wid the
likes o' me now. Sure ye'd be the laughingstock of the place, if ye
went an' got married to a poor fellow like meself that hasn't a rag to
his back nor a penny in his pocket, an' just stepped out o' prison more
by token--sure, that alone 'ud make a deal o' differ!"
"Aye, indeed," interrupted Roseen, throwing up her head, "it 'ud
make that much differ, Mike, that if a girl was fond of a boy before,
she'd be apt to be ten times fonder after. Now lookit here, Mike
Clancy, I have had enough of this--'pon me word, isn't it too bad for a
poor girl to have to go beggin' an' prayin' a fellow this way! Ye ought
to be ashamed of yourself! Saints presarve us, this is the third time I
am afther axing ye! I declare I'm out o' patience wid ye altogether.
Sure, didn't we have each other bespoke ever since we could say a word
at all, an' what matter in the name of goodness, if ye haven't a penny
in your pocket? Haven't I plenty for the two of us? And sure, good
gracious, if me poor grandfather, God rest him! put ye in gaol for what
ye never done, isn't it me that ought to be ashamed an' not yourself?
There now, I'll never say another word to ye, good or bad, if ye don't
make up your mind at wanst an' lave off talkin' that rubbish!"
Apparently Mike did make up his mind, for he left his particular
corner of the stone bench and came close to Roseen, his face aglow with
happiness and his arms outstretched. And there they sat and talked
among the ruins till the birds flew twittering to roost and the golden
light faded from the hill-top: yet, as hand in hand they came down the
path and wandered homewards through the dewy grass, it seemed to them
that they still were walking in a glorified world.