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.’