Extract from the Ms. Papers of the Late Rev. Francis Purcell, of Drumcoolagh
“I tell the following particulars, as nearly as I can recollect them, in the words of the narrator. It may be necessary to observe that he was what is termed a well-spoken man, having for a considerable time instructed the ingenious youth of his native parish in such of the liberal arts and sciences as he found it convenient to profess—a circumstance which may account for the occurrence of several big words, in the course of this narrative, more distinguished for euphonious effect, than for correctness of application. I proceed then, without further preface, to lay before you the wonderful adventures of Terry Neil.
“Why, thin, ‘tis a quare story, an’ as thrue as you’re sittin’ there; and I’d make bould to say there isn’t a boy in the seven parishes could tell it better nor crickther than myself, for ’twas my father himself it happened to, an’ many’s the time I heerd it out iv his own mouth; an’ I can say, an’ I’m proud av that same, my father’s word was as incredible as any squire’s oath in the counthry; and so signs an’ if a poor man got into any unlucky throuble, he was the boy id go into the court an’ prove; but that dosen’t signify—he was as honest and as sober a man, barrin’ he was a little bit too partial to the glass, as you’d find in a day’s walk; an’ there wasn’t the likes of him in the counthry round for nate labourin’ an’ baan diggin’; and he was mighty handy entirely for carpenther’s work, and mendin’ ould spudethrees, an’ the likes i’ that. An’ so he tuck up with bone-setting, as was most nathural, for none of them could come up to him in mendin’ the leg iv a stool or a table; an’ sure, there never was a bone-setter got so much custom—man an’ child, young an’ ould—there never was such breakin’ and mendin’ of bones known in the memory of man. Well, Terry Neil, for that was my father’s name, began to feel his heart growin’ light and his purse heavy; an’ he took a bit iv a farm in Squire Phalim’s ground, just undher the ould castle, an’ a pleasant little spot it was; an’ day an’ mornin’, poor crathurs not able to put a foot to the ground, with broken arms and broken legs, id be comin’ ramblin’ in from all quarters to have their bones spliced up. Well, yer honour, all this was as well as well could be; but it was customary when Sir Phelim id go any where out iv the country, for some iv the tinants to sit up to watch in the ould castle, just for a kind of a compliment to the ould family—an’ a mighty unpleasant compliment it was for the tinants, for there wasn’t a man of them but knew there was some thing quare about the ould castle. The neighbours had it, that the squire’s ould grandfather, as good a gintleman, God be with him, as I heer’d as ever stood in shoe leather, used to keep walkin’ about in the middle iv the night, ever sinst he bursted a blood vessel pullin’ out a cork out iv a bottle, as you or I might be doin’, and will too, plase