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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 301 pages of information about The Absentee.

’Ay did he; and said, “Mrs. Raffarty,” says he, “it’s all your own fault; you’re an extravagant fool, and ever was, and I wash my hands of you;” that was the word he spoke; and she answered, and said, “And mayn’t I send the beds and blankets,” said she, “and what I can, by the cars, out of the way of the creditors, to Clonbrony Castle; and won’t you let me hide there from the shame, till the bustle’s over?”—­“You may do that,” says he, “for what I care; but remember,” says he, “that I’ve the first claim to them goods;” and that’s all he would grant.  So they are coming down all o’ Monday—­them are her bandboxes and all to settle it; and faith it was a pity of her! to hear her sobbing, and to see her own brother speak and look so hard! and she a lady.’

‘Sure she’s not a lady born, no more than himself,’ said Larry; ’but that’s no excuse for him.  His heart’s as hard as that stone,’ said Larry; ’and my own people knew that long ago, and now his own know it; and what right have we to complain, since he’s as bad to his own flesh and blood as to us?’

With this consolation, and with a ‘God speed you,’ given to the carman, Larry was driving off; but the carman called to him, and pointed to a house, at the corner of which, on a high pole, was swinging an iron sign of three horse-shoes, set in a crooked frame, and at the window hung an empty bottle, proclaiming whisky within.

‘Well, I don’t care if I do,’ said Larry; ’for I’ve no other comfort left me in life now.  I beg your honour’s pardon, sir, for a minute,’ added he, throwing the reins into the carriage to Lord Colambre, as he leaped down.  All remonstrance and power of lungs to reclaim him vain!  He darted into the whisky-house with the carman—­reappeared before Lord Colambre could accomplish getting out, remounted his seat, and, taking the reins, ‘I thank your honour,’ said he; ’and I’ll bring you into Clonbrony before it’s pitch-dark yet, though it’s nightfall, and that’s four good miles, but “a spur in the head is worth two in the heel."’

Larry, to demonstrate the truth of his favourite axiom, drove off at such a furious rate over great stones left in the middle of the road by carmen, who had been driving in the gudgeons of their axle-trees to hinder them from lacing, [Opening; perhaps from Lacher, to loosen.] that Lord Colambre thought life and limb in imminent danger; and feeling that at all events the jolting and bumping was past endurance, he had recourse to Larry’s shoulder, and shook and pulled, and called to him to go slower, but in vain; at last the wheel struck full against a heap of stones at a turn of the road, the wooden linch-pin came off, and the chaise was overset:  Lord Colambre was a little bruised, but glad to escape without fractured bones.

‘I beg your honour’s pardon,’ said Larry, completely sobered; ’I’m as glad as the best pair of boots ever I see, to see your honour nothing the worse for it.  It was the linch-pin, and them barrows of loose stones, that ought to be fined anyway, if there was any justice in the country.’

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