The Lake eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 278 pages of information about The Lake.
the time, and wondering how he might write it, whether from oral tradition or from the books and manuscripts which he might find in national libraries, he went out about 3 o’clock and wandered down the old cart-track, getting his feet very wet, till he came to the pine-wood, into which he went, and stood looking across the lake, wondering if he should go out to Castle Island in a boat—­there was no boat, but he might borrow one somewhere—­and examine what remained of the castle.  But he knew every heap of old stones, every brown bush, and the thick ivy that twined round the last corner wall.  Castle Hag had an interest Castle Island had not.  The cormorants roosted there; and they must be hungry, for the lake had been too windy for fishing this long while.  A great gust whirled past, and he stood watching the clouds drifting overhead—­the same thick vapour drifting and going out.  For nearly a month he was waiting for a space of blue sky, and a great sadness fell upon him, a sick longing for a change; but if he yielded to this longing he would never return to Garranard.  There seemed to be no way out of the difficulty—­at least, he could see none.

A last ray lit up a distant hillside, his shadow floated on the wet sand.  The evening darkened rapidly, and he walked in a vague diffused light, inexpressibly sad to find Moran waiting for him at the end of an old cart-track, where the hawthorns grew out of a tumbled wall.  He would keep Moran for supper.  Moran was a human being, and—­

‘I’ve come to see you, Gogarty; I don’t know if I’m welcome.’

‘It’s joking you are.  You’ll stay and have some supper with me?’

’Indeed I will, if you give me some drink, for it’s drink that I’m after, and not eating.  I’d better get the truth out at once and have done with it.  I’ve felt the craving coming on me for the last few days—­you know what I mean—­and now it’s got me by the throat.  I must have drink.  Come along, Gogarty, and give me some, and then I’ll say good-bye to you for ever.’

‘Now what are you saying?’

’Don’t stand arguing with me, for you can’t understand, Gogarty—­no one can; I can’t myself.  But it doesn’t matter what anybody understands—­I’m done for.’

‘We’ll have a bit of supper together.  It will pass from you.’

‘Ah, you little know;’ and the priests walked up the hill in silence.

‘Gogarty, there’s no use talking; I’m done for.  Let me go.’

‘Come in, will you?’ and he took him by the arm.  ’Come in.  I’m a bigger man than you, Moran; come in!’

‘I’m done for,’ Father Moran said again.

Father Oliver made a sign of silence, and when they were in the parlour, and the door shut behind them, he said: 

‘You mustn’t talk like that, and Catherine within a step of you.’

’I’ve told you, Gogarty, I’m done for, and I’ve just come here to bid you good-bye; but before we part I’d like to hear you say that I haven’t been wanting in my duties—­that in all the rest, as far as you know, I’ve been as good a man as another.’

Project Gutenberg
The Lake from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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