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"Well-and shure enough, Mr. Garrett," replied Micky, "but I was thinkin' yer wardrobe, fur a gintleman, wuz moighty quare, though I sed nothin'."
"There, yer at it agin!" cried Betty, laughing (she had come in to witness the joy of his recognition of Garrett). "Ye'd vex a saint, so ye would, Micky, stoppin' to jabber in that style, in place o' takin' Mr. Garrett's hand-ye gossoon and givin' it a squeeze that 'id make his eyes wather. Cut it short, Micky dear, and blessins on ye; and let yer poethry spake thruth, for wanst; be a dummy with yer tongue, and spake with yer fist, me man. Musha, but I'm heart-glad you've come home, annyhow, to share in the luck o' Mr. Garrett's cumpany. But listen, Alannah, it seems and she lowered her voice to a whisper-"the poliss, the vagabones, are wantin' to get grips on him." Micky turned his eyes toward Garrett, to solicit an explanation of this extra-opportunity. ordinary statement, and Garrett gave him an account of late events in the city, and of the part he had taken in them.
"O, listen to him!" ejaculated Betty, "an' him goin' at it, in his rhymes, like the clapper o' a mill."
Man, and ye'll be lost in the crowd o' thim. Only keep in the house during the day, sur. Betty 'ill do her best, I well know, to enthertain ye; and only whin the stars is out, take yer airin'."
"Whisht, will you," said her husband. "I mane I said nothin' about his pig-dhriver's toggery, and that's the thruth. But, Mr. Garrett, you've cum, I'm glad to believe, to the right quarthers for blindin' the poliss. An' yer disguise, too, isn't a bad wan up here, fur pig-dhrivers is as common as hips, in Sliev-na
Under the guardian care of Betty, Garrett passed several weeks. They were weeks of anxious moment, and extreme excitement over the whole kingdom, especially in the south. Every one could discern that Stephens' departure, and the conviction and penal servitude of Luby, Rossa, and other of the chief conspirators, had by no means caused all public danger to blow over. "The Fenians, it was well known, were making strenuous efforts to repair the gaps made in their ranks, and to recover themselves in force for a bold stroke, for victory;"* and foremost among the enthusiasts in the work of sedition, as will be supposed, was Malachy O'Byrne.
Garrett heard from him several times, under
his nom de plume of "Father Prout;" his letters being addressed, as arranged, to "Corney Winter" (Garrett's alias). He declared he had no doubt at all of final triumph; that all past mistakes and misfortunes were fully repaired; and admonished Garrett to be ready at a moment's call to join "the patriot host of Ireland."
Alarum'd by his centinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
DURING this period of suspense, disturbing news was brought to Garrett by his friend Micky Flynn, the pedlar. He told him that "the boys "-impatient of the delay of the general rising, and outraged by new acts of oppression upon the part of Archie MacDuff, of Carberry Grange-had resolved "to do" for that gentleman, in the most summary manner, at the first
Assassination, we know, was a thing which Garrett abhorred-a crime which he could "not away with "-he deemed it barbarous, base, and cowardly to the last degree; and had always declared that whoever, within his knowledge attempted it, he would openly denounce them. He now spoke in the same way to Micky, who, to tell the truth, held the sin of murder in much the same estimation as Garrett did. "But, what can we do?" asked Micky, "the boys is that savage with the owld tyrant that they are set upon takin' his life; and if we intherfere it'll not save him, while it'll bring their hot anger on us." "I do not care," exclaimed Garrett. "Be sure to find out for me, Micky, the place and the hour for
the execution of this dastardly plot, and if it cost me my life I will put a stop to it." "Is it to save the life o' wan who has been yer worst enemy, Mr. Garrett; shure you'd be the biggest fool in Christhendom to do that. Take a friend's advice, sur, and meddle nothin' at all in the matther. Shure, afther all, Mr. Garrett, his quiaytus id be a grand blessin' for the whole country. A first rate ending though it be by a crooked path." "Oh! don't talk in that way," said Garrett, impatiently; "only do as I have asked, my friend; you have always professed to be prepared for a loving service to me any time I should request it. Micky, prove it now by ferretting out for me the secrets of this infernal plot."
Shortly after this conversation Micky informed Garrett that the intended assassination was ripe for execution. "I thried my very best, Mr. Garrett," he said, "to put thim off the job, even usin' all me wondherful janyous as a poet to pursuade thim, sur; but, och! I might as well go whistle jigs to a milestone. It's stranghers has taken the business in han', sur; and, mad to begin the war, as they call it, they have arranged 'to down' Archie MacDuff as the first instalment; and the saints be about us-upon this very evenin' no less. He'll be comin' home, sur, in the dusk, from a magisthrates meetin'-a meetin' held because of the times-and they think it'll be quite convaynient fur their deadly task."
Garrett looked at his watch. "Where do they propose to waylay him?" he asked. "I'm touldt not far from Owen Quinn's house," was the answer. "Then I shall have about time," said Garrett," to intercept them ;" and he rose from his chair in the shebeen kitchen to get ready to start upon his way. "Don't go, Mr. Garrett," entreated Micky, "indeed what you mane to do isn't safe, sur." But seeing that Garrett was not to be stayed in his purpose, Micky cried," Begorrah, if yer set upon selling yer life, you shan't go alone, sur, I'll go with you."
There was a distance of some miles between Flynn's house and the place for the contemplated murder. Garrett and Micky walked fast, but the shades of evening fell before they reached their destination; and there, secreted in a dry ditch, three men were found by Garrett and Micky after some search. Supposing, in the dark, that the intruders were police in disguise, the conspirators started to their feet and made for fight, but Garrett and Micky, by means of certain Fenian signs, speedily assured them.
Garrett at once raised an urgent remonstrance against the deed of violence they had come to perpetrate, and sought, with all his power, to
persuade them against it. The usual arguments, and con, were being warmly set forth, when, in the heat of debate, carried on in a suppressed voice, the sound of the wheels of MacDuff's carriage was heard in the distance, and a signal, a low whistle, that the moment for action had come, was given by a confederate up the highway. At this the men who undertook the deed of blood, rose from their place of concealment, and drew near the massive pillars of a gate, upon which, while hiding themselves from view, to rest their weapons.
Garrett followed them, and, drawing near, said slowly and distinctly: "Understand me, my friends, if you attempt to draw a trigger upon that gentleman who is approaching, I declare, before high Heaven, I will publicly denounce you."
"Oh! You will?" said one of the fellows, "then take that," and pointing his carbine at Garrett he fired, and immediately ran off, accompanied by his two comrades.
Garrett received the bullet through his shoulder; the wound, though severe, was not mortal, no large artery or vein, wonderful to tell, having been cut, and the ball glancing upon a bone, passed out obliquely. He fell to the ground, however, and bled profusely. While Micky sought to aid him, MacDuff's carriage passed by on the road, and its occupant soon afterwards reached Carberry Grange in safety.
"Oh, Mr. Garrett, dear, has the villain kilt ye?" cried Micky. "Oh! that ye had had the luck to take me advice, sur, and not cum here at all, at all. Shure, I touldt ye how it wud be, sur."
"Tear this handkerchief in two," said Garrett, faintly, "and staunch my wounds, Micky. That done, haste to Quinn's, and get some one to help you to carry me thither."
Quinn was one of the old tenants upon the Carberry Grange estate, and had known Garrett from his childhood. He was dreadfully grieved to learn from Micky what had occurred. Hastily taking a door from off its hinges, and calling his son to come with him, the three men hurried down to where the wounded one was lying in a faint; and carefully placing Garrett upon the door, they bore him to the cottage. Quinn proposed to send at once for a surgeon, but Garrett whispered, with a halt between his words, "No-The bleeding has ceased-I am only weak from the loss of blood-I know I shall get better without surgical aid-Micky will tell you why it is important that I should keep in concealment, and that this affair should
not be blown abroad."
"Oh! Thin he's wan o' the Pathriots that the poliss is wantin' to clutch," said Quinn after Micky's communication, "Thin we'll just keep
him nice and quiet in my little home here, no wan the wiser; and my missus, with the help o' God, 'ill soon bring him round agin."
"O! there's nothing half so sweet in life,
As love's young dream."-SONG. GARRETT's recovery, however, was much more tedious than either his friend or himself had looked for. His system had received a very severe shock; he had bled much, was extremely weak, and found it hard to rally.
Micky Flynn, who, every second day or so, came over from Sliev-na-Man to see how he was getting on, grew very much concerned, especially after seeing Garrett in a dead faint one day. He and his Betty talked the matter over, and they came to the conclusion that Garrett needed better nursing than the Quinns could give him; and who can better supply their lack of service, they asked, than Miss Jessie MacDuff, the good angel of Carberry Grange? Micky next day presented himself at the Grange, with a choice selection of pedlar's wares; the wares, however, were only a ruse to gain an opportunity of speaking with the young lady of the house without exciting suspicion; but he found it difficult to say anything to her which others should not hear the members of the household, especially the servants, so crowded around him.
Abiding his time, however; upon catching her eye, he took a small box from his breast pocket and said, in a whisper, "Miss Jessie, I have something in this I wish to show you alone; it's nothing anny wan else here would buy. Leavin' these other articles behind uz to be looked at whin we're away, will you oblige me, Miss, with the manes o' a little private sthroke o' business?"
Jessie thought his request rather strange, but Micky gave a knowing wink, and she understood that something important lay behind his words -so saying, Micky, you can come into the drawing room and open that wonderful box of yours," she left the group in the outer passage and Micky followed her.
"Are you shure, Miss," he said, when they reached the apartment indicated, "that there's no wan within hearin'?" "Yes, I think we are quite retired here, Micky," was the answer, "but come down to the lower part of the room, and then, it is certain, no one but myself can hear what you wish to communicate."
"Miss Jessie," said Micky, "I know you have a tindher heart, and, I believe, ye can keep a saycrit; there's wan not far from this, Miss, that sorely needs the gentle care your lady-hand can give him; wan that's a rale gintleman, Miss; but it must not be known who he is, or what has happened to him."
And then, glancing round the room, he added, "Don't be angry with me, Miss, fur sayin' it, but somehow I cannot help it; if all war right, Miss, it's my noshun' that it's here, in this very place he'd be this minnit, Miss, and not, as he is now, in a poor man's oncomfortable cottage."
"What do you mean, Micky?" said Miss MacDuff. "If the person you speak of is a gentleman that has met with some accident, of course, in case he cannot be removed to his own home, my father will have him brought to his house."
"No, never, Miss Jessie," responded Micky; yer father, Miss, would never do that, and indeed he must not see him."
Jessie was quite puzzled. "You have not told me this gentleman's name," she said. “Who can he be, Micky?" "Wan you'll be all out surprised to hear," was the response. other, Miss, than Mr. Garrett Rowan, the son, Miss, o' the owld squire o' Carberry Grange." Micky's expectation of giving surprise was far more than realised. He did not know the deep and special interest which the person he addressed took in Garrett. Jessie felt as though her heart had stopped; her features became strained, and she gasped out "For goodness sake, Micky, tell me what has happened."
The tale Micky had to pour into Jessie's ear was a sad one. The circumstances under which Garrett received his wound, shielding her father's life, was well fitted to move her; while it raised in her admiration the man who sacrificed himself for the safety, as she well knew, of his worst wrong-doer and most bitter enemy. With tears in her eyes, she said, "I shall not let an hour pass, Micky, before I take some wine and medicine to Mr. Rowan. But we had better return to those we have left outside in the passage," she added, "for if we stay much longer it will provoke enquiry. Seem as though nothing of moment has passed between us, Micky; and when you leave the house proceed quietly to Quinn's cottage; tell Mr. Rowan you have spoken to me, and prepare him for a visit from me."
Jessie, in fulfilment of her promise, soon as she could do so, without attracting observation, wended her way, a small basket on her arm, to Quinn's cottage. She was the subject of various emotions on the brief journey. Her pity and love led her to hasten her steps, and yet a certain maidenly reserve and coyness tended to retard them; especially when she called to mind the last words spoken by her father before Garrett some months before. "I was 'flirting and coquetting with this (so called) wicked stranger,' he said, and unable to bear his rude charge I rushed, with my hands to my face, from Mr. Rowan's presence. He, too,
without doubt, will remember my father's shameful words. And how ever shall I meet him?
"But, then, again," she thought, "from what Micky has said, Mr. Rowan must be in a perilous state, and it has come from preserving our home from a dark and fearful tragedy. All that a MacDuff can do for him is, therefore, his due. No one of us, however, but myself can now minister to him-for he lies under the bann of secrecy. I must therefore suffer no false sentiment to interfere with duty, and, God helping me, I will do my best to save a life so precious." Aye, so precious," a voice in the very depths of her heart seemed to repeat as an echo.
Both Garrett and Jessie were under considerable excitement as they met. When Micky told the former who was coming to see him, Garrett chided him for going to the Grange without having first consulted him; and then, feeling that what Micky had asked her to do would put Jessie in a difficult position-while he longed to see her-he yet said, "Micky, you must go and tell Miss MacDuff not to pay her visit; I really shall not want her service, and, please, go at once.'
"Indeed I'll do no sich thing," was Micky's reply, "and, savin' yer presence, I don't believe wan word o' what you have just been sayin', sur. Not like a nice young lady sich as her to nurse ye! Tell that, Mr. Garrett, to the Horse Marines. P'raps they'll b'lieve ye, but, begorrah, I can't. An', annyhow, to counthermand the flesh and blood angel that's comin' to bless ye with her presence is now too late. She'll be here afore I could get to her." "But you can meet her," said Garrett, smiling.
"No, I won't," replied Micky, boldly. "Forgive me, Mr. Garrett, fur saying it, but if I'd do what ye want me, bedad I'd be yer enemy." Garrett, upon the whole, was not sorry at Micky's resolved disobedience. In the depth of his heart he longed to see and speak again with Jessie. He had cleared his conscience, too, by his out-spoken protest to Micky for inviting her; so with a very longing mind he awaited her appearance.
With flushed face Jessie entered the little room where Garrett lay; and as the young man cast his glance upon her, he had suggested to him Micky's words about an angel, for Jessie looked very beautiful. Notwithstanding Garrett's pale and worn face, she instinctively felt the admiration her presence called forth; and, while it gave her a sweet satisfaction, she felt abashed, and blushed deeply. After a word or two of greeting, she turned her attention to her small basket, full of good things, to hide her emotion; and soon the little table in Garrett's room was
covered with such supplies, for an invalid, as an intelligent mind and generous heart could prompt to be furnished.
Garrett followed her actions with his eyes, and his thought was, that it was worth all the pain and physical weakness he had endured, to become thereby the object of such loving ministrations; nor was the reflection weakened during subsequent merciful and gentle service, for many days, of a similar character.
On the present occasion, Jessie remained in Quinn's cottage for a couple of hours-she and Quinn's wife co-workers of kindness—in Garrett's room. Upon leaving she gave the young man's humble hostess careful direction as to what she wished to be done; and promised to return to see her patient next day.
To avoid observation, she made other sick calls in the district each time on her way to visit Garrett, and prudently altered, much as possible, her route to Quinn's cottage. It having been long her habit to perform the part of a Sister of Mercy in the neighbourhood, much favoured her desire for secrecy in the present. Her daily pilgrimage towards Garrett's bedside was regarded by the villagers as nothing very remarkable, and idle gossip was not stirred.
The mind has often as much to do with a patient's recovery as the most skilful application of the medical art. The truth of this, at all events, was proved in the present instance. Jessie's care and cordials, no doubt, did much; but it is our belief that the charm of her presence was the most effective agent in Garrett's recovery. She shed around her a magic influence that thrilled and quickened all the vital powers of his being. From the hour of her first visit the tide of health turned, and increased in fulness day by day; until the invalid advanced to near complete recovery, had to contemplate a speedy departure from Quinn's house.
We put it thus, not as a matter of will, but of necessity, for Garrett felt a bliss in Jessie's daily coming which gave him a sense of sadness at the prospect of its close. There was a delightful sunshine within when she was near, which he knew would be succeeded by a painful loneliness and shadow of heart when he should see her no more. He felt he could almost bear to be an invalid for ever to be blessed with the music of her voice and the charm of her gentle and skilful ministrations.
It was evident, too, that this happiness in each other's society was mutual. The young girl, when at home, often found her thoughts unconsciously winging their flight to Quinn's cottage, and that Garrett was far more in her heart than ever had been another. She welcomed the hour for her daily visitation; and
when in Garrett's room with his hostess, or seated near his chair at Quinn's fireside, in a sweet fellowship of heart and thought, hours passed by with the speed of minutes.
Quinn and his wife looked on, full of interest at this repetition of the old story—ever new— and, of course, nodding their heads, laughed, in the usual light way, at "Love's young dream;" but all the while, in the depth of their souls, they were filled with delight and admiration.
Garrett, at last all but restored, had made arrangements to leave his good hosts, the Quinns, in a couple of days, and to betake himself again for a while to Micky Flynn's dwelling, when events took a turn that set at nought all his calculations. This was the more unfortunate, since the love affair between him and Jessie had reached its true and natural crisis--they had plighted their eternal troth of affection and fidelity to each other, and sacredly engaged to await the development of events; such as would enable them to crown their sworn love-pledge by a marriage union.
Jessie had promised to come early upon the final day of Garrett's sojourn at the Quinns' in order to enjoy a long-drawn-out parting. Footsteps that morning were heard upon the pathway to Quinn's house; the young man's heart beat quick; they were the footfalls, no doubt, of his beloved, and he hastened to the door of the cottage.
What was his amazement, however, to see, instead of the sylphlike form of his Jessie, no other approach than her father, Archie MacDuff, stealthily stepping along, followed by two policemen.
The moment MacDuff caught sight of Garrett's face, with an oath, he cried out to the men behind him, "Yes, by there he is, men, rush on at full speed and secure your prisoner.' The policemen were not slow to obey the direction given them. Before Garrett had time for concealment or flight they dashed into the house, grasped him by the arms, and he was in their power.
66 I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die."-KING RICHARD III.
BUT how did it come to pass that thus, at almost the last hour, Garrett was discovered in his hiding place and placed under arrest, and that Archie MacDuff was the leader of those who apprehended him?
We have informed the reader that Malachy O'Byrne, nothing daunted by the defection of Stephens, or the committal to prison of the leading men in the Fenian plot, gave his wholehearted energies to repair the ranks and consummate the plans of "the great political movement."
Four or five days after he parted from Garrett in the City, he presented himself, dressed as a priest, at his father's house, Lisnadil Farm, sending in his name as Father Prout. He stated that he had visited the parish at the bishop's request; and no suitable inn being near, Father Callaghan, the parish priest, had informed him that there was no doubt Mr. O'Byrne, for a day or two, would gladly receive him as a guest.
Malachy wished to test, in a pleasant way, the completeness of his disguise, and it was proved to be perfect; neither his father nor mother, nor his keen-eyed sister Agnes recognised him, until, after half-an-hour's hoax, he burst into a loud laugh and declared himself.
His parents felt a good deal annoyed and pained, that he should so disrespect the sanctity of the clerical profession as to use a sacred garb in the practice of a falsehood. for Agnes, she was shocked; her sense of religious propriety was outraged; and in a burst of holy indignation she rebuked roundly the sacrilegous act, as she called it, of her brother.
"I admire your religious zeal, Agnes," he replied, "but not your sister's welcome, nor your female wisdom. My dear girl, had I not for the past four days put on the priest, and read my breviary with the devoutest of airswhich even a St. Francis could not excelI should be this moment in Richmond Gaol, with handcuffs on and feet in the stocks; and not as I am now-free to give a conquering blow for the rights of Ireland. From this hour, Agnes, I admire amazingly the priest's office; it has served me well, dear; and surely that good confession should please you."
"For shame, Malachy," exclaimed Agnes. "You have committed a sinful deed against the priesthood, and, Malachy, do not add insult. Woe be the day, Malachy, that, in face of the interdict of the church, you became the associate of heretics and political conspirators."
"Hush! Agnes," said Malachy, "not a word more of that my good girl. You are under a gross mistake, let me tell you; if I be wrong in my purpose and conduct I am the sinner, and not Garrett Rowan."
"I cannot believe you, Malachy," was the angry reply of Agnes, as with an aversive look and offended air, she left the room in which she and Malachy had been speaking.
Malachy perceived before long that his father's house was no safe place for him to abide in; besides he felt that he should not compromise his father by staying under his roof; especially as he was engaged in a business which had neither his sanction nor approval; he, therefore, left Lisradil Farm House, and took up his quarters, at uncertain times, in various