The Macdermots of Ballycloran, by Anthony Trollope

Chapter 22.

The Escape.

Thady left the house immediately after the last cruel speech his father made to him, with the tears running fast down his face. He leapt down the steps, hurried across the lawn, through the little shrubbery, and over the wall into the road. He did not dare to go alone down the avenue, and by the spot where Ussher’s body had lain, and where the ground would still be moist with his blood.

His father’s words still rang dreadfully in his ears —“Murdered! of course they’ll call it murder! of course they’ll be sure to hang you!” And then he thought of all the bearings of the case, and it seemed to him that his father must be right; that there could be no doubt but that all men would call it by that horrid name which sounded so hideously in his ears. If that which he had done was not murder, what manner in which one man could kill another would be thought so? It was now evident to him that Feemy had been with Ussher willingly — that she was there of her own consent and by appointment; and merely because she had fainted in his arms, he had struck him down and killed him. Of course his father was right; of course they would call it murder. And then again, even if he could justify the deed to himself — even if he could make himself believe that the man was at the time using violence to his sister — how could he get that proved? whereas proofs of her having consented to go off with him would no doubt not be wanting. And then again, Thady remembered — and as he did so the cold sweat stood upon his brow — how lately he had sat in company where the murder of this very man whom now he had killed had been coolly canvassed and decided on, and he had been one of those who were to be banded together for its execution. Would all this be forgotten at his trial? Would there not certainly be some one to come forward at that horrid hour, and swear these things against him — ay, and truly swear them? And then he fancied the precision with which he knew each damning word he had lightly uttered would be brought against him. Would not these things surely condemn him? Would they not surely hang him? It would be useless for him, then, to open his bosom and to declare to them how hateful — even during the feverish hours of that detested evening — the idea of murder had been to his soul. It would be useless for him to tell them that even then, at that same time, he had cautioned Ussher to avoid the danger with which he was threatened. It would be vain for him to declare how soon and how entirely he had since repented of the folly of which he had on that occasion been guilty. The stern faces by whom he would be surrounded at his trial — when he should stand in that disgraceful spot, with his head leaning on that bar so often pressed by murderers, miscreants, and thieves — would receive his protestations very differently from that benign friend who had previously comforted him in his misery. They would neither listen to nor believe his assurances; and he said involuntarily to himself —“Murder! of course they’ll call it murder! of course they’ll hang me!”

The oftener he thought of this, the more he hurried, for he felt that the police would be soon in search of him, and that at most he had but that night to escape from them. As these ideas crossed his mind he hastened along the lane leading to Drumleesh, sometimes running and sometimes walking, till the perspiration stood upon his brow. If it was murder that he had done — if the world should consider it as murder — then he would most probably soon be in the same condition as that criminal whose trial had so vividly occurred to his recollection a few days ago. At that time the idea had only haunted him; he had only then dreamt of the possibility of his situation being the same as that man’s, and the very horror he had then felt at the bare thought had made him determined to avoid those who could even talk of the crime which would lead to that situation. But now he had of his own accord committed that crime; and how had he done it? In such a manner that he could by no possibility escape detection. Then again he tried to comfort himself by reflecting that it was not murder — that his intention had not been to murder the man; but his father’s horrid words again rang through his ears, and he felt that there was no hope for him but in flight.

The moon got up when he was about half-way to his destination, and he left the road lest by chance there might be any one out at that hour who would recognise him. He crept on by the hedges and ditches, sometimes running along the bits of grass between the tillage and fences — sometimes having almost to wade through the wet bottoms which he crossed, often falling, in his hurry and in the imperfect light of the cloudy moon, till at last, tired, hot, and covered with dirt, pale with fear, and nearly overcome by the misery of his own reflections, he reached Corney Dolan’s cabin. It was now about eleven o’clock; it had been past ten when he left Ballycloran, and in the interval he had traversed above five Irish miles. There was no light in the cabin, which was a solitary one, standing on the edge of a bog. Now he was there he feared to knock, as he did not know what to say to Corney when he should come to the door. Besides, he was aware that his hands and coat were soiled with blood, and he was unwilling that the inmates of the cabin should see him in that plight.

He had, however, no time to spare, and as it was necessary that he should do something, after pausing a few minutes, he knocked at the door. No one answered, and he had to knock two or three times before he was asked in a woman’s voice who he was, and what he wanted there at that hour of the night. He stated that he wanted to see Corney Dolan. The woman told him that Corney Dolan wasn’t at home, and that he couldn’t see him. Thady knew that he lived alone with his mother, an aged woman, nearly eighty years old, and that it was she who was speaking to him now.

“Nonsense, mother,” said he; “he’s at home I know, and I must see him. Don’t you know me?”

“Faix, then, I don’t — and I don’t want,” said the old hag. “At any rate, Corney’s not here; so you may jist go back agin, whoever you call yerself.”

“But where is he, then? Can you tell me where I’ll find him?”

“I can’t tell you thin. What should I know myself? So now you know as much about it as I do.”

“Well, then, get up and let me in. Don’t you know me? I’m Corney’s landlord, Thady Macdermot. I’ll wait here till he comes; so get up and let me in.”

There was a silence for some time; then he heard the old woman say to some one else,

“The Lord be praised! It can’t be him — it can’t be Mr. Thady coming here at this time of night. Don’t stir I tell ye — don’t stir, avick!”

“Oh! but it wor him, mother. Shure, don’t I know his voice?” answered the child that the old woman had spoken to.

“I tell you it is me,” shouted Thady. “Open the door, will you! and not keep me here all night!”

The child now got up and opened the door, and let him into the single room which the cabin contained. There were still a few embers of turf alight on the hearth, but not sufficient to have enabled Thady to see anything had not the moon shone brightly in through the door. There was but one bed in the place — at the end of the cabin farthest from the door, standing between the hearth and the wall, and in this the old woman was lying. The child, about eight years, had jumped out of bed, stark naked, and now in this condition was endeavouring with a bit of stick to poke the hot embers together, so as to give out a better heat and light. But Thady was in want of neither, and he therefore desired the boy to get into bed, and upsetting with his foot the little heap which the urchin had so industriously collected together for his benefit, so as to extinguish the few flickering flames which it afforded, he sat down to try and think what it would now be best for him to do.

“Where’s Corney, then,” he said, “at this hour? Will he be long before he’s here?”

“Not a one of me rightly knows, yer honer; maybe it’ll not be long afore he’s here, and maybe it’ll not be afore the morning,” said the child.

“And, maybe, not then,” added his grandmother. “There’s no knowing when he’ll be here; maybe not for days. I don’t know what’s come to them at all now — being out night skirring through the counthry; it can’t come to no good, any ways.”

“When Corney’s at home, where does he sleep?” said Thady, looking round the cabin for a second bed, but seeing none.

“He mostly takes a stretch then down there afore the fire; but Corney’s not over partickler where he sleeps. For the matter of that, I b’lieve he sleeps most out in the bog at day time.”

Thady now sat down on one of the two rude stools with which the place was furnished, either to wait for Corney, or to make up his mind what other steps he would take. He had closed and bolted the door, and was just in the act of asking the old woman whether Joe Reynolds was at present living on his bit of land, or if not, where he was, when he heard footsteps coming up to the little path to the door, and the woman, sitting up in bed, said,

“There’s both on ’em thin; get up, Terry, and open the door.”

One of the men outside rattled the latch quietly, to let the inmates know who it was that desired admittance; and the naked boy again jumped out of bed, and opening the door, ran back and jumped in again.

Two men now entered, whom Thady, as they appeared in the moonlight through the open door, at once recognised as Joe Reynolds and Corney Dolan. He was seated close to the fire, and in the darkness and obscurity of the cabin, they did not at first perceive him.

A few moments since he had been longing for these two men who now stood before him, as the only persons on whom he could depend for security and concealment, and now that they were there he almost wished them back again, so difficult did he find it to tell them what he had to say, and to beg of them the assistance he required.

“Who the divil are you?” said Corney; “who’s this you’ve got here, mother? — and what made you let him in here this time of night?”

“Shure it’s the young masther, Corney, and he axing afther you; you wouldn’t have me keeping him out in the cowld, and he waiting there to see you that ought to have been at home and asleep two hours since.”

“Faix, Mr. Thady, and is that yerself?” said Corney; “well, anyway you’re welcome here.”

“I’m glad to see you here, Mr. Thady,” said Joe; “didn’t I tell you you’d be coming? though it’s a quare time you’ve chosen. Didn’t I tell you you’d be changing your mind?”

“But was yer honer wanting me, Mr. Thady,” said Corney; “‘deed but this is a bad place for you to come to; sorrow a light for ye or the laste thing in life; what for did you not get a light, you ould hag, when the masther came in?”

“A light is it, Corney; and how was I to be getting a light, when there’s not been a sighth of a bit of candle in the place since last winter, nor likely to be the way you’re going on now.”

“Whisht there now,” said Joe; “we’ll be doing very well without a light; but why wasn’t you down here earlier, Mr. Thady? — We two have just come from mother Mulready’s, an’ by rights, as you’ve come round agin, you should have been there with us.”

“Never mind that, Joe, but come out; I want to spake to you.”

“Did you hear the news about Ussher?” continued Joe without moving, and in a whisper which the old woman could not hear. “That blackguard Ussher has escaped out of the counthry afther all, without paying any of us the debt that he owed us, for all the evils he’s done. He went away out of Mohill this night, an’ he’s not to be back agin; av I’d known it afore he started I’d have stopped him in the road, an’ by G——d he should niver have got alive out of the barony.”

“But did you hear he was gone?” said Corney.

“I did,” replied Thady: “but Joe I want to spake to you, and there’s no time to spare; come here,” and Joe followed him to the door. “Come further; I don’t want him to hear what I’ve to say to you;” and he walked on some little way before he continued — “you were wishing just now that you had shed Ussher’s blood?”

“Well — I wor; I suppose, Mr. Thady, you’re not going to threaten me with the magisthrate again. I wor wishing it — an’ I do wish it; he was the hardest man on the poor — an’ the cruelest ruffian I iver knew. Isn’t there my brother, that niver even acted agin the laws in the laste thing in life — the quietest boy, as you know, Mr. Thady, anywhere in the counthry, an’ who knew no more about stilling than the babe that’s unborn; isn’t he lying in gaol this night all along of him? an’ it an’t only him; isn’t there more? many more in the same way, in gaol all through the counthry; an’ who but him put ’em there? I do wish he was for-a-nens’t me this moment, an’ that I might lave him here as cowld a corpse as iver wor stretched upon the ground!”

“I tell you, Joe, av you had your wish — av you struck the blow, and the man you so hate was dead beneath your feet, you’d give all you had — you’d give your own life to see him agin, standing alive upon the ground, and to feel for one moment that you’d not his blood to answer for.”

“By G——d! no, Mr. Thady; I’m not so wake; and as for answering for his blood, by the blessed Virgin, but I’d think it war a good deed to rid the counthry of such a tyrant.”

“He’ll niver act the tyrant again, Joe, for he is dead. I struck him down with my stick in the avenue at Ballycloran, this night, and he niver moved agin afther I hit him.”

“The holy Virgin save us! But are you in arnest, Mr. Thady? D’ye main to say he’s dead — that you killed him?” And after walking on a little, he said — “By the holy Virgin, I’d sooner it had been myself; for I could have borne the thoughts of having done it better than you are like to do. An’ what did you do with the body?”

“Brady took it into Carrick.”

“And does Brady know it war you did it?”

“Yes, they all know it — father and all; what was the use of telling a lie about? Feemy was with him when I struck him.”

“And war she going off with him? Niver mind, Mr. Thady, niver mind; it’s a comfort to think you’ve saved your sisther from him, an’ you know what a ruffian he was. By all the powers of glory there’s a weight off my mind now I know he’s not escaped from the counthry, where he caused so much misery, and did so much ill. But I’d a deal sooner it had been I that done it than yourself.”

“I wish it war not done at all — I wish he were alive this day. What will I do now, Joe?”

“Faix, that’s the question; any way, this is not the place for you any longer; they’d have you in Carrick Gaol before tomorrow night, av you were not out of this, an’ far out of this too.”

“Where is it you have the stills, Joe? Av I were there, couldn’t I be safe, for a little time at laste, till I got some plan of getting entirely out of the counthry? Or may be when they hear the case, and how it all happened, they mightn’t think it murder at all — the Coroner I main; and then I could go home agin, or at any rate go away where I choose without hindrance; it’s little I care where I was, so long as it’s not in prison.”

“I’m afraid, Mr. Thady, there’s no hopes for you in that way. The magisthrates, with Jonas Brown at the head of them, will be a dail too willing to make a bad case of it, the divil mend them, to let you off; an’ the only thing for you is, to keep out of their hands.”

“Would they find me there, Joe, up in the mountains, where you have the stills?”

“They might, and they mightn’t; but if you war there, an’ they did find you, they’d be finding the stills too, an’ the boys wouldn’t like that.”

“Where shall I go then? I thought you’d be able to help me. In heaven’s name, what shall I do? the night’s half over now; can’t you think of any place where I might be, for tomorrow at any rate? I depended on you, Joe, and now you won’t help me.”

“There you’re wrong. I’m thinking now, where is the best place for you: and by G——d as long as I can stick to you, I will; both becase you were always a kind masther to the poor, an’ becase the man you killed war him I hated worse than all the world besides; but it’s no asy thing to say where you’d be safest. D’you know Aughacashel, Mr. Thady?”

“I niver was there, but I know that’s the name of the big mountain over Loch Allen, to the north of Cash.”

“Well, that’s where the stills are mostly at work now, an’ that’s where I was to be myself, tomorrow evening; but now we must both be there before the sun’s up, for no one must see us on the road. But, Mr. Thady, how’ll I do about taking you there, when you wouldn’t come to Mulready’s to take the oath, which all must do afore they’ll be allowed among the boys that is together, or as will be together there tomorrow evening?”

Thady then promised him, that when he reached their destination, he would take any or every oath that might be proposed to him; that he would join their society in every respect, whatever might be its laws, and that if they would assist him in his present condition by affording him whatever security might be in their power, he would faithfully conform to all their rules and regulations. So far did his fears and the agitated state of his mind overcome the great repugnance which still he felt to break the solemn promise he had given Father John, and which he had so faithfully intended to keep.

Reynolds reflected that though it was contrary to their regulations to bring a stranger to the haunts where his companions carried on their illegal trade, they could hardly be unwilling to give shelter to the man who had killed the enemy whom they all so cordially hated, and to murder whom they were all sworn; particularly when his present necessity of concealment arose from the fact of his having done so. Reynolds had an idea of justice in his composition: he knew that had he murdered Ussher, his companions would have used every effort to conceal him, and to baffle his pursuers; and he was determined that they should do as much for Thady.

He went back to the cabin for Corney Dolan, and told him the story which he had just heard; and at about midnight the party started for the mountains.

Aughacashel is a mountain on the eastern side of Loch Allen, near the borders of the County Cavan — uncultivated and rocky at the top, but nevertheless inhabited, and studded with many miserably poor cabins, till within about a quarter of a mile of the summit. The owners of these cabins, with great labour, have contrived to obtain wretchedly poor crops of potatoes from the barren soil immediately round their cabins. To their agricultural pursuits many joined the more profitable but hazardous business of making potheen, and they were generally speaking, a lawless, reckless set of people — paying, some little, and others no rent, and living without the common blessings or restraints of civilization: no road, or sign of a road, came within some miles of them; Drumshambo, the nearest village, was seven or eight miles distant from them; and although they knew that neither the barrenness of their locality, nor the want of means of approach would altogether secure them from the unwelcome visits of the Revenue police or the Constabulary, still they felt sure that neither of these inimical forces could come into their immediate neighbourhood, without their making themselves aware of their approach, in time to guard against any injury which they might do them, either by removing all vestiges of their trade, or by sending those who were in fear of being taken up, into the more inaccessible portions of the mountain. On the western side of Aughacashel, immediately over Loch Allen, and about half way between the lowlands and the summit, a kind of rude limekiln had been made, apparently for the purpose of burning lime for the neighbouring land; but the very poor state of the rocky ground about, which gave signs of but little industry, afforded evidence that the limekiln had not added much to the agricultural wealth of the country. It was now at any rate made use of for other purposes, for it was in here that Joe Reynolds at present usually worked his still. There were only two cabins immediately close to it; one of which was occupied by a very old man and his daughter, but in which Corney Dolan and Reynolds resided, when they were away from Drumleesh; and the other belonged to another partner in the business, who considered himself the owner of the limekiln, and the head of the party concerned in it. This man’s name was Daniel Kennedy, and to the reckless, desperate contempt of authority and hatred of those who exercised it, which characterized Reynolds, he added a cruelty of disposition, and a love of wickedness, from which the other was much more free.

This was the place to which his two guides were now conducting Thady, and where it was proposed that he should, at any rate for some time, conceal himself from those, who, it was presumed, would soon be scouring the country in search of him. It was now a bright moonlight night, and the three men hurried across the country with all the haste they could make. Little was said between them as they went, excepting observations made between Joe and his comrade, as to the characters and occupations of the residents in the various cabins by which they passed. After going for some considerable way across fields and bogs and bottom lands, they came out on a lane, running close round a small lake lying in the bed of the low hills which rose on the other side of it. The water was beautifully calm, and the moon shining immediately down upon it, gave it the appearance of a large surface of polished silver. At this spot the fields came close down to the road, and also to the water, and in the corner thus formed stood a very small poor cabin.

This lake was Loch Sheen, and it was in that cabin that Ussher had apprehended Tim Reynolds and the two other men, little more than a fortnight ago.

Joe stopped a moment when he reached the spot, till Thady, who was following the other man, had come up, and then, pointing to the low door, close to which he stood, said,

“The last deed as that ruffian did as now lies so low was in that cabin. It war there he sazed Tim, an’ dragged him off with ropes round his arms, an’ sent him to Ballinamore Bridewell, an’ all for ‘spaking a few words of comfort to an owld woman he’d known since he war a little child. I swore, Mr. Thady, that that man should be put beneath the sod before the time came round that Tim should be out agin; an’ this very night I war a grieving in my heart to think that he war out of the country safe an’ merry — ready agin to play the same bloody game with them among he war going; an’ that I should let him go without so much as making one effort to keep my word with him! By G——d, Mr. Thady, quare as you may think it, who are now so low within yerself with what you’ve done, that thought was heavy on my heart this night. Had I known what way he war to travel, I’d followed him, had it been for days an’ nights, till I had got one fair blow. By dad, he would niver have wanted a second. Corney what’s the owld hag doing since her two sons is in gaol along with Tim?”

“Ah! thin, she’s doing badly enough; she war niver from her bed since. Faix, Joe, they’ll niver be out in time to bury her.”

“Is it starving she is?”

“Well thin, I b’lieve that’s the worst of it; that an’ the agny, an’ no one to mind her at all, is enough to kill an owld woman like her.”

“Niver mind,” replied Joe, “it will be a comfort to her any way to hear that Ussher’s gone before her; not but what they’ll go to different places, though.” And then, after a time, he added, “Ussher’s black soul has gone its long journey this night with more curses on it than there are stones on these shingles. But come on, lads, we mustn’t be standing here; we must be in Aughacashel before sunrise, or else they’ll be stopping us as we pass through the counthry.”

And again they went through the clear bright moonlight. They passed Loch Sheen, and soon afterwards another little lake, lying also to the left of the road, and then they found themselves in the small village of Cashcarrigan. This they passed through silently and quickly and without speaking a word, and having proceeded about half a mile on the road towards Ballinamore, they again left it and took to the fields. They went along the northern margin of Loch Dieney, running where the ground was hard enough, at other times stepping from one dry sod to another, through gaps and fences, which seemed as well known to Thady’s guides as the cabins in which they had passed their lives. They left Drumshambo to their left, and at about four in the morning they came to Loch Allen. Here they got upon a road which for some way skirts the eastern side of the lake, along which they ran for about a mile and a half, and then turned into a small boreen or path, and began to ascend the mountains.

“Asy boys, now,” said Corney; “we’re all right when we’re here; an’, by the powers! I’m hot,” and the man began wiping his brow with his sleeve.

“What, Corney, you’re not blown yet!” said the other, “an’ here’s Mr. Thady as fresh as a four year old. Come along, man; the sooner he’s got a snug room over his head the better he’ll be. You forget he’s not accustomed to be out all night, and take his supper of moonshine, as you are. Come along, Mr. Thady; you’ll soon be where you’ll get as good a dhrop as iver man tasted, an’ you’ll feel a deal better when you’ve got a glass or two of that stuff in you.”

Thady, who, in spite of Joe’s compliment as to his freshness, was so weary that he could hardly drag his legs along, and who had seated himself for a moment upon one of the big loose stones which were scattered over the side of the hill, again rose, and they all resumed their journey. They soon lost the track of the boreen, but they still continued to ascend, keeping by the sides of the loose built walls with which the land was subdivided. It was astonishing what labour had seemingly been wasted in piling wall after wall in that barren place, and that even in spots where no attempt had been made at tillage, and where the only produce the land afforded was the food of a few miserable sheep and goats, which it might be thought could have grazed in safety without the necessity for all those numerous fences. These, however, after a time, ceased too; but just at the spot where the open mountain no longer showed any signs of man’s handiwork, Dan Kennedy’s lime-kiln was built, and immediately behind it were the two cabins of which we have before spoken.

It was at the door of the furthest of these two that Joe — did not knock — but raised the latch and rattled it. The old man within well knew the sign, and, getting out of bed, drew the wooden bolt, and admitted the three into the cabin. Though he did not expect Joe or Corney, and had not an idea who Thady was; and though Thady’s dress, which was somewhat better than those worn by his usual associates, must have struck him as uncommon, he made no remark, but hobbled into bed again, merely saying, in Irish, “God save ye kindly, boys! it’s a fine night ye’ve had, the Lord be praised!” There was a second bed in the place — if a filthy, ragged cotton tick filled with straw, and lying on the ground, could be called a bed — in which the old man’s daughter was lying. It was nearly dark now out of doors, for the moon had disappeared, and it was hardly yet six o’clock; but one of the men lighted a candle, of which there were two or three hanging against the wall. The girl was not asleep, for her eyes were wide open, looking at the party, but she seemed not at all surprised by their entrance, or at the addition to their usual numbers, for she lay quite quiet where she was, as if such morning guests in her bed-chamber were no unusual thing.

Joe now got a stool for Thady; and he and Corney sat down opposite the fire, while Reynolds drew a stone jar out from beneath the old man’s bed — he seemed well to know the place where it was to be found — and reaching a cracked cup down from a shelf which was fixed into the wall over the fire-place, filled it with spirits and handed it to Thady. He swallowed a considerable portion of it and returned it, when Joe filled it again, finished the contents himself, and gave it again full to Corney, who in a very short time did the same.

“By gor,” said the latter, “I wanted that; an’ I tell you that’s not bad work. Why, Mr. Thady —”

“Have done with your Misthers, Corney,” said Joe, in a whisper, “let them find out who he is theyselves. They’ll know soon enough, divil doubt them! there’s no good telling them yet, any how.”

“That’s thrue, Joe; but as I was saying, that’s not bad work; why, Mr. Thady —”

“Sorrow saze yer tongue, thin, ye born idiot!”

“Well, by dad, it comes so natural to me, Joe, to call him by his own name, that one can’t help it; but it war only four o’clock when we left this, this blessed afthernoon — that is, yesterday afthernoon — an’ since that we wor down at Mulready’s, an’ then at Drumleesh, an’ now we’re here agin; why how many miles is that?”

“Niver mind the miles; he”— and Joe pointed to Thady —“he has done a deal more than that in the same time — an’ whatever comes of it, he did a good deed. Howsomever, if you’ll take my advice, you’ll take a stretch now. Meg! — I say, Meg,”— and he turned round to the girl who was lying in the corner —“get out of that, an’ make room for this man to lie down. You’ve been asleep all night; make room for yer betthers now.”

The girl, without grumbling, turned out of bed, and burthened with no feeling of conventional modesty, commenced and finished her toilet, by getting into an old ragged calico gown, and tying up, with a bit of antique tape, her long rough locks which had escaped from their bondage during her sleep. Thady for a long time resisted, but Joe at last was successful in persuading him to take advantage of the bed which Meg had so good-humouredly relinquished.

“I an’ Corney have still-work to do afore daylight, an’ we won’t be back afore it’s night,” said Joe, “but do you bide here, an’ you’ll be safe. You must put up with the pratees this day, for there’s nothing better in it at all; but I’ll be getting something fitter for you by night; an’ av’ you feel low, which you’ll be doing when you wakes, mind, there’s the sperrits in the jar there undher the bed; a sup of it won’t hurt you now an’ agin, for indeed you’ll be wanting it, by yerself here all day. An’ look you,”— and he led him to the door as he spoke, and pointed to the two within —“they’ll soon know who you are, an’ all about it; but you needn’t be talking to them, you know; an’ you may be quite certain, that even should any one be axing about you, they’ll niver ‘peach, or give the word to the police, or any one else. Av you like to go out of this during the day, don’t go further than the kiln; an’ av you lie there, you could easily see them miles afore they war nigh you, even av anything should put it into their heads to think of coming afther you to Aughacashel.”

The two guides then took their leave of him, and Thady laid himself down on Meg’s bed, and, after a time, from sheer fatigue and exhaustion, he fell asleep.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:01