The Lake eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 278 pages of information about The Lake.

He was practically certain that the last time he saw the garden in bloom was just before he went to Maynooth.  However this might be, it was certain he would never see it in bloom again.  Mary had left the cottage a ruin, and it was sad to think of the clean thick thatch and the whitewashed walls covered with creeper and China roses, for now the thatch was black and mouldy; and of all the flowers only a few stocks survived; the rose-trees were gone—­the rabbits had eaten them.  Weeds overtopped the currant and gooseberry bushes; here and there was a trace of box edging.  ‘But soon,’ he said, ’all traces will be gone, the roof will fall in, and the garden will become part of the waste.’  His eyes roved over the country into which he was going—­almost a waste; a meagre black soil, with here and there a thorn-bush and a peasant’s cabin.  Father Oliver knew every potato field and every wood, and he waited for the elms that lined the roadway a mile ahead of him, a long, pleasant avenue that he knew well, showing above the high wall that encircled a nobleman’s domain.  Somewhere in the middle of that park was a great white house with pillars, and the story he had heard from his mother, and that roused his childish imaginations, was that Lord Carra was hated by the town of Tinnick, for he cared nothing for Ireland and was said to be a man of loose living, in love with his friend’s wife, who came to Tinnick for visits, sometimes with, sometimes without, her husband.  It may have been his Lordship’s absenteeism, as well as the scandal the lady gave, that had prompted a priest to speak against Lord Carra from the altar, if not directly, indirectly.  ‘Both are among the gone,’ Father Oliver said to himself.  ’No one speaks of them now; myself hasn’t given them a thought this many a year—­’ His memories broke off suddenly, for a tree had fallen, carrying a large portion of the wall with it, but without revealing the house, only a wooded prospect through which a river glided.  ’The Lord’s mistress must have walked many a time by the banks of that river,’ he said.  But why was he thinking of her again?  Was it the ugly cottage that put thoughts of her into his mind? for she had done nothing to alleviate the lives of the poor, who lived without cleanliness and without light, like animals in a den.  Or did his thoughts run on that woman, whom he had never seen, because Tinnick was against her and the priest had spoken slightingly of the friends that Lord Carra brought from England?  The cause of his thoughts might be that he was going to offer Nora Glynn to his sister as music-mistress.  But what connection between Nora Glynn and this dead woman?  None.  But he was going to propose Nora Glynn to Eliza, and the best line of argument would be that Nora would cost less than anyone as highly qualified as she.  Nuns were always anxious to get things cheap, but he must not let them get Nora too cheap.  But the question of price wouldn’t arise between him and Eliza.  Eliza would see that the wrong he did

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The Lake from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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