“Well, your honour, as I was sayin’, one time the family up at the castle was stayin’ in Dublin for a week or two; and so as usual, some of the tenants had to sit up in the castle, and the third night it kem to my father’s turn. ‘Oh, tare an ouns,’ says he unto himself, ‘an’ must I sit up all night, and that ould vagabond of a sperit, glory be to God,’ says he, ‘serenading through the house, an’ doin’ all sorts iv mischief.’ However, there was no gettin’ aff, and so he put a bould face on it, an’ he went up at nightfall with a bottle of pottieen, and another of holy wather.
“It was rainin’ smart enough, an’ the evenin’ was darksome and gloomy, when my father got in, and the holy wather he sprinkled on himself, it wasn’t long till he had to swallee a cup iv the pottieen, to keep the cowld out iv his heart. It was the ould steward, Lawrence Connor, that opened the door—and he an’ my father wor always very great. So when he seen who it was, an’ my father tould him how it was his turn to watch in the castle, he offered to sit up along with him; and you may be sure my father wasn’t sorry for that same. So says Larry,
“‘We’ll have a bit iv fire in the parlour,’ says he.
“‘An’ why not in the hall?’ says my father, for he knew that the squire’s picthur was hung in the parlour.
“‘No fire can be lit in the hall,’ says Lawrence, ’for there’s an ould jackdaw’s nest in the chimney.’
“‘Oh thin,’ says my father, ’let us stop in the kitchen, for it’s very umproper for the likes iv me to be sittin’ in the parlour,’ says he.
“‘Oh, Terry, that can’t be,’ says Lawrence; ’if we keep up the ould custom at all, we may as well keep it up properly,’ says he.
“‘Divil sweep the ould custom,’ says my father—to himself, do ye mind, for he didn’t like to let Lawrence see that he was more afeard himself.
“‘Oh, very well,’ says he. ‘I’m agreeable, Lawrence,’ says he; and so down they both went to the kitchen, until the fire id be lit in the parlour—an’ that same wasn’t long doin’.
“Well, your honour, they soon wint up again, an’ sat down mighty comfortable by the parlour fire, and they beginn’d to talk, an’ to smoke, an’ to dhrink a small taste iv the pottieen; and, moreover, they had a good rousing fire of bogwood and turf, to warm their shins over.
“Well, sir, as I was sayin’ they kep convarsin’ and smokin’ together most agreeable, until Lawrence beginn’d to get sleepy, as was but nathural for him, for he was an ould sarvint man, and was used to a great dale iv sleep.