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It was a beautiful afternoon, everybody was busy about the farm of Mr. Santon; Winnie was sitting at the door, intent upon her own thoughts, when she caught sight of their good minister approaching upon his horse, his silver locks flying in the wind. Biddy, learning they were to have a visit from the “Protestant praste,” turned first pale, then red, and when the old gentleman dismounted at the door, she let fall the shoulder of bacon, which she was preparing for the supper, and darted behind the screen, in her haste hitting her foot against the lowest tin, in a pile of two dozen, which brought the rest down to inquire into the state of affairs.
The presence of the old gentleman served to impart a cheerfulness to all who gazed upon his happy countenance, and his kind tones, as he inquired for the welfare of the family, penetrated the screen, reaching the ear of Biddy, who sat wondering what the good father Teely would say, if he knew she had so far sinned as to remain under the same roof with a “wicked Protestant praste;” but as she heard him speaking to Pat, who had come in of an errand, with such a pleasant voice, she ventured a peep out, and the form of her thoughts just at that moment, might have been a little, a very little, savoring of heresy. Suffice it to say, when the old gentleman took his departure, there was a peculiar twinkle in Biddy’s eye, and she had so far overcome her aversion to the “imposther” as to have had a few private words with him, which had by no means decreased her usual flow of good spirits. It was evident that Biddy “had on her high heels,” for the rest of that evening. As Winnie strolled over the farm, enjoying the evening breeze, reflecting upon her good pastor’s words, her attention was suddenly attracted toward the enclosure where the cows were being milked, by hearing the voice of Biddy, who, as she “stripped” the patient animal again, for the dozenth time, was very much engaged with Pat, whose round, smiling face, as he glanced at her from the opposite side of the creature, shone with delight; and as the white foam rose higher and higher in Biddy’s pail, so did the warmth of her feelings get the better of her, and those tell-tale eyes of Winnie’s danced with mischief, as she overheard the following conversation:
“Ah, Pathrick dear, does ye think there is the laste sin in it? And indade, it’s mesilf that’s thinking the blissid St. Pathrick would be afther misthaking him for a good Catholic!”
“And what did he say, honey dear? did he think he could be afther comforting the likes of us?”
“Thrath, and he did; it was himsilf that said niver a word when I was spaking to him about it, but was afther showering a blissing upon us, the dear sowl!”
“But what will the praste say? Biddy, sure he’ll be very angry, intirely.”
“Faith, and it’s no longer ago than the day afther yesterday, that the misthress was saying if we confissed our sins with a right spirit, we should be afther being forgiven; and now, Pathrick, I’m thinking we ’ll be afther getting married, and then there will be a plinty of time for confissing.”