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Synopsis of Previous Chapters,


Synopsis of Previous Chapters, chapters i. and ii.~ -Mrs La Roacfae and £ •* daughter, Claire, drive to Castle Finnbar. "Minis O'Keefe, the driver, refuses to be paid n, £ ht. They arrive at their destination, are welcomed by Timothv Sullivan, the old servant left at the Castle, which is fabling into ruins. From the hall Claire and mother are taken by the crazy Sullivan to a ^•olcl bedroom, which has not been occupied at least over half a century. Everything 8 'n tatters. Moths and bats abound. Rats be heard scuttling under the wainscoting. immediate demand of the newcomers is for J**?- They partake of a miserable supper, after *J>ich the old man produces a pack of cards. ~ire soon sees that he is a born gamester, and *6fo8ea to play with him. He retires muttering Te»(?eance. CHAPTERS III. and IV.-Mother and daugh 2? pass a weary night ensconced in chairs. 1 mother sleeps, but the daughter sits listen- to all the uncanny sounds, and conjuring for *eiBelf the imaginary terrors of the night. They f*e disturbed by the arrival of two men on horse- 604k stranded wayfarers, who believe the Castle be uninhabited, save by a lunatic. The two promise the help and assistance of two *oinen, which relieves the situation somewhat. the morrow Claire intercepts a beautiful HJtle Irish girl carrying a can of milk. This ^ild takes Miss La Roache to the cabin of Mrs r Leary, where the good woman gives her a 5**1, and she has a \vash. She accompanies ^'fcire back to the Castle, where she provides a £ °od breakfast. During the coarse of the morn. Visitors arrive. CHAPTER V. k It was a coach that was standing at the en- lace to the Castle when Mrs La Roache and daughter descended the staircase. A groom at the head of the leaders and another at the £ of the ladder on which two women were Fusing themselves. They had both shapely feet, 'aire perceived, and both were dressed in white Thev were clearly sisters and of about same age—something about thirty. Tiro were swinging themselves to the ground on off side of the coach, and two others re- 'iDed on the top. Claire saw that the two men dismounted were tho-i who had visited the tie at midnight. One of the ladies hastened to Mrs La Roache Claire, crying Row do you do ? I am Lady Innisfail; and is my daughter, Mrs Archie Browne. Major I Ckiton and Lord Medway told us about you and OUr awful plight. How funny it was. No, I the opposite—how romantic. We do hope :r*t you slept well. But what a dreadful posi- "013. Mr Sullivan is hopeless—still, if you had bad a fourth you might have had a good "fidge party. 1 believe that Mr Sullivan knows tjtaething of Bridge I suppose you play Bridge, ""tQ La Roache ?" The other lady had come forward. She was I'fcve and her manner somehow gave Mrs La Joache the impression that she was reproving mother. We were shocked to hear of your contre- £ mps, Mrs La Roache," said she, and we do that vou will come to us until you get )ettIed. We live quite at hand, only six miles < *»ay— Suanamara. You will like it." Then one of the men approached —the more l°lable. He was much mere shy now. But to I '*ir6 he seemed like an old friend. We got some sleep," she said. Really we I J**oke refreshed, with an appetite for break- *aet." And did the breakfast respond ? I am afraid *ot," he said, with some concern. An excellent breakfast," she cried. "We dis- an angel—Mrs O'Leary she brought *°out a miraculous change in our fortunes." The man's face brightened. Claire thought for moment that he was going to say something 'bout Elijah the Tishbite, who also found his ^Rol to feed him. A glance at him reassured however. He was not the man to drag in Elijah. So glad," he said. "We were afraid that would be knocked up. We hurried. The *«oIe thing was ghastly. Poor old Sullivan 1 fj.curiosity. But one only wants that sort of in a museum not after a long journey, OU are sure to like the Archie Browne's place," Lady Innisfail was talking. a 1 never heard anything so dreadful. My jjjfcr Mrs La Roache, only for the accident of and Jeffy wanting a drink badly in the J^'ddle of the night, you might both have been i?jmd dead in the ruins—you might indeed, ^here was an old witch once—I honestly believe she was a bona-fide witch—not so far away C-Immgilly. She lived for years among the of the Abbey—we used to visit her when 1 & girl—the queerest old thing—and one 1Iaotaing she was found dead in the midst of her < They received a hearty welcome. I It created quite a fuss in our neighbour- I can assure you. When Tommy told us Jr* you looked—I mean, how that horrid old had treated you, I said, They have died the night, just like —like I really bltoforget what the old witch's name was. you think that we might just have a peep the Castle while the men are putting trunks in the coach ? Mr Urquhart is w^ensely interested in ruins. This is Mr to*?Qhart! Mr Stephen Urquhart, Mrs La iS^be, Miss La Roache." t Urquhart was one of the men who had re- ^'fced on top of the coach when the other J*0 had dismounted. He was, without being a *all man, a good deal under the height of the 'h«r two. He was very dark as regards his w^plexion, and there was a curious curl in his t?.lt that was apparent when he took off his hat. S,B *ace was smooth, and be conveyed to one the of being well polished—his best enemies he was a patent leather Bort of man. I He is fond of ruins—it is hereditary your "■'her was concerned in sugar-growing some- was he not, Mr Urorhart ?" said Lady beIUsfa.H-with alaogh that somehow prevented Remark from having the least taint of bad )^r Urquhart responded to her laugh. J I am not specially interested in ruins, but in certain epochs—certain incidents in JJain epochs of history" said he. l Ctomwell," cried Lady Innisfail. I remem- j7~5 °ow. You told me it was Cromwell you ware in." And it was Cromwell who did more than any to make Ireland picturesque—with ruins, «? ^e. k He failed here," said Claire. He was t^ten back from our house and yet it is a ruin **Kla y ta Unlike most chatelaines, you know the his- 5? of your own house, Miss La Roache," said I too would you care to look into some of the "rtls ?'" said Claire. t It would be so good of you to allow us, for minutes," said Mrs Archie Browne. k Oh, jt is not necessary to ask for permission ito-'pspecc a ruin it becomes public property," !? Claire. to Luckily for us," she added, for she was quick > Notice a troubled look come into the face of Medway—3he had found out that the name ''he more shy of the visitors of the night was j?|rd Medway. The'troubled looked passed away Lord Medway s face a*5** all the same he would not pass through the C* of the Castle now. He said that ruins were his line. They made him think of the Guards Paiade. h^jor Clifton—Claire had lound out that the of the other man was Major Clifton tj her thought that he would stay outside also. that the Castle made him think of! » gingham Palace. He wondered what sort of Buckingham Palace would make. He ^Oght that be would rather like to wait and others followed Lady Innisfail into the Claire saying, „ lv. We are rather proud to flaunt our tatters, fci. we do it badly, you will pardon us you i,*? that we haven't yet got used to oar ruin. Urquhart will ksep you straight you depend on his preventing youf making any Jon Ruide-book mistakes in your history. Will 5pt, Mr Urquhart ?" said Lady lanisfail. will tell you '11 about your own house, Roache. Will you not, Mr Urquhart ? 'a incident from which I shrink, «it Drquhart as Snllivan appeared at tn» of the hall. He bade the party wel- was some very dainty gathering up of iljof*8 With consequent surprises of enbroidered be right sort of low heels—Lady v what a stroll through ruins en- I t lay the social valu6 of ruins, in 1 •: ijor Clifton had stayed outside, tjj. Oh, th«; mi f it," standing in the midst of tir oi a alien ceiling that bad been de- v ,-tvt artist Oh, the pity of it- 018o sc y tor you, Mrs La Roache. If we could have done anything—living so close as we were it would have been easy but we heard nothing about Colonel La. Roache, only that he was dead. I never thought even ot inquiring if he was married. Tim Sullivan is to blame But why on earth did your husband let him re- main here all these years ? A proper care- taker would have prevented all this." My husband was an Irishman doesn't that explain everything? said Mrs La Roache. Lady Innisfail held up her bands and heaved a sigh-a. minim sigh that made a smile a neces- sity." ¡ Mr Sullivan wrote us such nice letters," said Mrs La Roache. We put so many questions to him, and he seemed to answer them a.11- though in rather a roundabout way sometimes." "That's the way nice letter-writers have," said Lady Innisfail. "We thought that we were coming home- servants and supper and all," said Mrs La Roache. •'And so you are, you poor soul," cried Lady Innisfail. Come along. We have seen enough of your ruins. It is time that you were intro- duced to ours. Come along. Have you anything to say, Mr Urquhart ? Mr Urquhart said that he had been greatly interested. Devastation had always interested him. That is one of his dark sayings," said Lady Innisfail, apologetically, to Claire "He doe3 not mean to be rude—only dark. Mr Urquhart possesses every qualification of a teacher except intelligibility. But you will get accustomed to him. We all understand him thoroughly on account of his unintelligibility. It is only when he tries to explain himself that he really mysti- fies us." But Claire, who sat beside Mr Urquhart on the top of the coach, did not find him perplexing. He had not the shyness of the two other men, nor had he the exuberant manner of Lady Innis- fail, who talked to strangers as if she had known them all her life. And yet Mr Urquhart gave Claire the impression that he had known her all her life, without being in any way voluble and whea they reached Suanmara, the Archie Brown's place, and she was plone with her mother, she told her that this was how she Jelt in regard to Mr Urquhart. How could he do that Did be talk to you about Paris or Vienna or Sofia ? Did he try to get you to tell him anything about your father ? I know that the pople here are simply dying to hear about your father," said Mrs La Roache. He never mentioned the name of any place, and he never even suggested that I had any father," replied Claire. Then, how ? I I don't know, I'm sure but he did all the same. It may only have been fancy on my part, because he did not ask me any questions about where we had lived or how we had lived. All the strangers we have met have set themselves about finding out everything you heard Mrs Archie Brown throwing out a casual inquiry more than once ? She sat at the other side of me driving here. You must have heard her from behind." I heard you were discreet. But Mr Urqu- hart He did not seem to want to know anything?" But from where I sat I thought that you had interested him." I don't think that I did. Perhaps what you noticed was that I was interested in him. Is that the same thing ? It amounts to the same thing if you let him see that you were interested in him. That is about the only thing that awakens a man's in- terest in a young woman—or an old woman, for that matter—seingthat she is interested in him." That is one of your axioms of life, dear mother. You impressed it upon me long ago. I wish I could think of axioms of life at the right moment. I don't suppose that anyone worth talking about does ever think of axioms of life at the right moment. People are too busy living." But Mr Urquhart Claire burst out laughing, pointing a mocking forefinger at her mother—they were both lying back in the easiest of chairs in a charming dress- ing-room. "But Mr Urquhart "but Mr Urquhart," she cried. Now you are acting in sympathy with another of your precious axioms, sweet mother. I will hear nothing more about this Mr Urqu- hart. If you had known me all your life as he has, you would not make such a mistake as to talk to me about the last man I have spoken to. Talk to me about Lord Medway I am more interested in him than this Mr Urquhart." "I am glad to hear that," said her mother. "Mr Urauhart, I find, is only a private secre- tary. You have heard of Mr Philip Tient ? Philip Trent ? Never. What of Mr Philip Trent? He is a man who invented—something or other- I cannot remember its name, but he has made a huge fortune out of it. He is a member of Parliament and Mr Urquhart is only his private secretary." I am beginning to be intensely interested in Mr Urquhart. If you continue telling me things to his disadvantage you may depend upon my falling in love with him." Claire, I am ashamed Do you retain the least memory of my I father's lectures to me when our funds were too low for us to keep on Mademoiselle Lejeune ? You recollect that there was a formula for falling bodies ? What nonsense. What do you mean, Claire 9 The rapidity of the descent of a falling body increases in an inverse ratio to the square of the j- distance. That is to say, if it falls four feet in the first second, it will fall 16 in the second, and —what is the square of 16—in the third." What on earth ? Claire, my dear, you are becoming more mysterious than ever. What do you mean by this nonsense ? I want to remind you that the same sort of formula applies to falling in love, dear mother. Four feet m the first second, 16 in the second, until after a second or two—precipitancy." And what has this got to > do with— with—anything in the wide world ? Not much. Only the laws of nature that govern the falling of a body through apace apply also to the falling in love. 80- Mrs La Roache looked carefully at her daugh- ter for some silent moments. Then she õai d— And Mr Philip Trent is coming here to- morrow." Miss La Roache looked carefully at her mother. Then she said— 1 think that I will put on another pair of shoes before lunch." CHAPTER VI. Suanamara was a delightful house in a de- li ghtful situation. People who saw it for the first time said so, and on learning that the owner was Archie Browne, laughed pleasantly. When they remembered that Archie Browne had manned the daugher of Lord Innislail and Beatrice his wife. they laughed again and said, Of course— a delightful house and a deliehtfal situation. They wished it to be understood that they recog- nised the fact that if the delight of the house was due to Archie Browne,the beauty of the situation was to be attributed to the daughter of Lord and Lady Innisfail. Archie Brown cared nothing for the pic- turesqueness of his house, but he cared a great deal for his wife, and he knew that his wifes mother was one of the most wonderful women in existence. He found it greatly to his advantage to do what he was told by his wife and his wife's mother, when they agreed in telling what to do and they had fortunately agreed in telling him that he must buy Suanamara from Mr Barry Geoghegan. the distinguished Irishman who had ruined himself some years before by hi! patriotic attempts to win the Derby with an Irish horse. He had been fortunate enough to win a few plates when he was yoang.and thus the remainder of his estates in the West of Ireland had come into the market by ordar of a judge of a Court of Law, and alter a decent business interval they were bought by Archie Browne, who had inherited a few millions from his father, the great con- tractor. Of course, Archie Browne got the place at a bargain, people in the neighbourhood said. But this was not quite Archie Browne's opinion. He knew what a bargain was, he declared, and everyone knew he did. This knowledge had been transmitted to his son with his millions by Mr Alexander Browne, who had been a navvy at the age of twenty and had died a millionaire at fortv-nine. He knew what a bargain was, he affirmed, and he ventured to assure people who talked of bargains that the great capitalists of the County Galwav were not treading on each other's heels in their anxiety to be the first to secure a property washed by the Atlantic Ocean. When Lady Innisfail had tried to remonstrate with him on his delay in buying Suanimara, he had grinced,making no reply and when she had urged her daughter to say something to him on the subject, her daughter had said in her cold, formal way I' Whatever Archie cannot do, he is certainly good at buying things." And he was. He had bought a good many foolish things before he met the Honourable Norah Innisfail, including a Shakespearean sea- son at the Acropolis Theatre with Mrs Mowbray in the part of Imogen but he had not been so foolish since. He had ample value for his outlay at all times, and his wife never failed to recognise bis ability in this direction. When she told him to buy anvthing she knew that be would obey her, and,she left the details wholly in his hands. He had gutted" the old house—the technical phrase was his own—and when the process of evisceration was completed it! had been a great pleasure to him to make the house beautiful— with hydraulic pumping of water up from the trout stream that ran through glen, and with electric light generated by the same agency, And then he set about: the more difficult task of preserving the game upon the mountains which constituted by far the greater portion of the Geoghegan estate. People in the neighbour- hood laughed at the idea of anyone trying to pre- serve the game. and suggested the possibility of Archie Browne's suffering by the diverting of the aim of the natives from what they had always I. looked on as their legitimate objects the shoot- ing of giouse was regarded as a sport by certain of the natives, they said, but the shooting of landlords as a duty. I They wasted their time with Archie Browne. Hb grinned—there was avast amount of argu- ment in one of Archie's giins— and said that few people understood the Irish character. In the course of a year or two, by the jodi- I ] cious exercise of a compulsory scheme of emi- I gration from the estate. tie had made his moun- tains equal to the best in Scotland for sporting purposes, and he was not afraid to ask his friends --and his mother-in-law's—over from England for the months of August and September, and such of them as had laughed at Archie when he was a bachelor, allowed that he was a wonder as a husband. They added that Norah Innisfail S had known what she was about when she had I married him. And they spoke the truth. She had become the. mother of two of the sweetest children alive, and yet she had still sufficient time to be able to look after her mother very nearly as carefully a& she I had done in the days of her maidenhood, and in those days this duty bad kept her in constant I employment. Her mother made a great mistake in fancying that in marrying Norah to Archie she had emancipated herself. And now the two latest of the guests at Suatt- mara, having changed their shoes for lunch, were standing at their dressing-room window gazing over the glories of mpuntain and lake and sea which lay before their eyes, causing them to forget for a time those of their fellow-guests whom they had already met, and to abstain from discussing the possibilites of those whom they had not yet seen. Billows of purple heather were rolling down from the mighty mountains in which the house was, so to speak, engulfed, and here and there along the range the sombre entrance to a glen of larches and firs touched with a yellow tint of autumn, made a marvellous cloud and contrasted wonderfully with the vivid emerald patches of ) the lower land. On into the grey distance the bcld contours of the promontories of the moun- tains wasted away in gradations of grey to the South, and beyond them, North and South, there was a quivering grey-blue band with a spatter of dazzling white. This is the Atlantic," said Claire. Is The Atlantic Ocean.?" We have come to the verge of the old world," said her mother. Your father told me that he had shot eagles over the Atlantic cliffs." They both looked witstfully out there, and each knew that the other was thinking of the grey- haired old man who had died in a far-off land without being able to realise hi" dream of re- turning to live in the land along whose cliffs he had wandered in his youth, waiting for an eagle. In his last days at Sofia be had talked a good deal about the island that he loved --the green island lying in the midst of the green waters of the West. They had agreeable company at Suanamara. | i i I After a space they went downstairs to the great square hall-where there was a billiard table and many other tables, though only one was used at j that moment for the game of Bridge. It was half an hour off lunch time. Lady Innisfail ex- ] plained, and she had such a morbid horror of wasting time that she had induced three of her guests to make up a Bridge party. She pre- sented Mrs La Roache and her daughter to the three—Mrs Lingard, Lady Fairholme; and Misa Fosberry. Mrs Lingard was sprightly, Lady j Fairholm was misty, Miss Fosberry was lus- trous. Thy gave a pleasantly critical glance or two at the strangers and then at their cards. Oh, yes, Mrs La Roache had heard of Bridge -she had even seen it played, she said-yes. it was, she believed, occasionally played at Nice during the months of December and January, but she had never played it herself Mr Urquhart was writing at a desk, with a large tain pamphlet with a blue cover in front of him Mrs Archie Browne was talking, seri- ouslv as usual, with Lord Medway, and Lord j Medway had assumed, with a considerable 4 amount of success, the role of the.attentive guest. ] A young woman was playing something hor- rible horribly on the pianoforte—a study in inanity from a study in insanity, which being destitute of comeay and despicable in music was t termed a musical comedy. An elderly man, wearing gracefully the baldness of intellect, was on a chair by her side touching a banjo with a 1 scientific exactness that left him a bar or two behind the young woman at the piano. But per- haps that was only the joke of the collaboration. 1 There was a click ot billiard balls and the ( sound of Major Clifton's voice suggesting to the ( girl with whom he was playing pyramids to do something or other in order to avoid tunning in -she had alreadv run in three times within the three minutes that Claire was in the hall. It was altogether a delightful little family party, Claire perceived. She bad never seen a party organised on precisely such a basis of in- dependent grouping, and she was greatly in- ( terested. She could not help wondering with J which of these 1* poses plastiques sbe would assimilate-which of tbem would be artistically strengthened by her appearance. Mrs Archie Browne solved the question for her. With unabated uneffusive cordiality she took a step forward to meet her and her mother, and while the latter assured her that their rooms were perfection-" Le petit Trianon in the midst of a wilderness," was M-s La Roache's phrase- Major Clifton with the easy confidence due to a longer acquaintance, had begun to talk to Claire, j and it seemed quite natural that they should go into the depths of a concave window lined with seats that enabled one to sit at ease and admire all that was outside as well within the spacious apartment. ( He seemed to have a good working knowledge of both. He told her that the mountains with the purple heather were named Slieve Gorm, and j that the nearest glen was Glenarney-that the house was the centre of curious legends, and that it was a matter of common knowledge that fairies were in the habit of assembling on moonlight nights on every one of the emerald patches that could be seen on the slopes where the forests of larch and fir were bsginning to show signs of j the autumn. He added that the elderly man with the brow who was endeavouring to soothe the hiccup of the banjo was the greatest living authority on ] fairies and witehes, and rummy things of that sort," and that he had come to Ireland specially to make a study of the Irish variety. His name was Mr Marvin, he 3ai l; and he had got so far in his investigations as to be able to announce to his fellow-guests that the Hibernian fairy was Coptic-or half Coptic. The narrator be- lieved that the moment this discovery was made public it would create a panic in the ranks of those people who had a foolish fancy that the Irish fairy was Aryan. Mr Marvin holds that the Aryan theory is responsible for the unsettled condition of Ire- land all these centuries," said Major Clifton. I hear him arguing out the point every even- ing, at intervals of strumming on his banjo." I- What, are there people here who actually argue with him ?" asketi Claire. They only argue because silence would be wasted on him," said he. And is his banjo Aryan or Coptic ?" said Claire, with a thirst for knowledge. That is what he is not quite certain about," replied Major Clifton. It is understood that Mr Phillip Trent is taking him up in order to give him a chance of investigating this point and settling it for eve". That is what it means to be a millionaire. The millionaires only become so in order that they may have a chance of realising their philanthropic ideas. They never spend any money on themselves." "It was mentioned on the coach that Mr Trent was to arrive here to-morrow," said Claire. Have you seen him, Major Clifton ?" Ob, yes, I have even spohen to him-the beat chap alive. If he hadn't been branded as a millionaire he would have carried all before him. As it is he appears as a good man struggling against the stream of popularity. And Mr Urquhart is his private secretary. It was Mr Urquhart who made him grossly popular. Bnt Mr Trent does not bear him-a grudge on that account, does he 7" Not be-he is generous even to the people who have done most for him and that is an uncommon trait, Jet me tell you, Miss La Roache." Would you think it mal-a-propos if I were to ask you at this point something that has been puzzling me—that is, how did you come to visit our ruin last night ?" Major Clifton laughed. I suppose it must be explained sooner or later,' said he. Well, the fact is that Lord Medway and I went to shoot over the Cairnreagh with the man who rents it, and we dined with him, but missed our way back and having once before accepted the hospitality of our friend, Tim Sullivan, at a late hour, we thought that we might chance to find him at home wit!: a peg of whiskey at his elbow. We were in such a con- dition as cried out for whiskey imperatively, or indeed we should not have made that absurd call." What should we have done if you had not made that call ?" said Claire. Was there ever such an adventure as this of ours ? My mother and I thought we were coming to a house something like the one we are in now. You can judge of how we felt when we found onrseWes among the bats of the hall and the moths of the bedroom to which we were led by Mr Sullivan." "Think of how we felt when we opened the dining-room door," said Major Clifton. Per- sonallv I felt as if I was looking a piece of old tapestry." Faded—greatly faded," said Claire, with a laugh. I know that I felt like a piece of old j tapestry—a sort of unravelled feeling. Newr j i mind. Five minutes after yon had left us we felt that—that—well, that our colours were re- stored." stored." And here we are now going in to tiffin/' said' Major Clifton, as the gong sounded. (To be continued.)









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