‘Dennis! the letters to the post.—When do you go to England, my lord?’
‘Immediately, sir,’ said Lord Colambre; his lordship saw new leases from his father to Mr. Dennis Garraghty, lying on the table, unsigned.
‘Immediately!’ repeated Messrs. Nicholas and Dennis, with an air of dismay. Nicholas got up, looked out of the window, and whispered something to his brother, who instantly left the room.
’Lord Colambre saw the post-chaise at the door, which had brought Mrs. Raffarty to the castle, and Larry standing beside it; his lordship instantly threw up the sash, and holding between his finger and thumb a six-shilling piece, cried, ‘Larry, my friend, let me have the horses!’
’You shall have ’em—your honour,’ said Larry. Mr. Dennis Garraghty appeared below, speaking in a magisterial tone. ’Larry, my brother must have the horses.’
‘He can’t, plase your honour—they’re engaged.’
Half a crown! a crown!—half a guinea!’ said Mr. Dennis Garraghty, raising his voice, as he increased his proffered bribe. To each offer Larry replied, ’You can’t, plase your honour, they’re engaged;’—and, looking up to the window at Lord Colambre, he said, ’as soon as they have eaten their oats, you shall have ’em.’
No other horses were to be had. The agent was in consternation. Lord Colambre ordered that Larry should have some dinner, and whilst the postillion was eating, and the horses finishing their oats, his lordship wrote the following letter to his father, which, to prevent all possibility of accident, he determined to put, with his own hand, into the post-office at Clonbrony, as he passed through the town.
My dear father, I hope to be with you in a few days. Lest anything should detain me on the road, I write this, to make an earnest request to you, that you will not sign any papers, or transact any farther business with Messrs. Nicholas or Dennis Garraghty, before you see your affectionate son, Colambre.
The horses came out. Larry sent word he was ready, and Lord Colambre, having first eaten a slice of his own venison, ran down to the carriage, followed by the thanks and blessings of the widow, her son, and daughter, who could hardly make their way after him to the chaise-door, so great was the crowd which had gathered on the report of his lordship’s arrival. ’Long life to your honour! Long life to your lordship!’ echoed on all sides. ‘Just come, and going, are you?’
‘Good-bye to you all, good people!’
’Then good-bye is the only word we wouldn’t wish to hear from your honour.’
’For the sake both of landlord and tenant, I must leave you now, my good friends; but I hope to return to you at some future time.’
’God bless you! and speed ye! and a safe journey to your honour!—and a happy return to us, and soon!’ cried a multitude of voices.
Lord Colambre stopped at the chaise-door and beckoned to the widow O’Neill, before whom others had pressed. An opening was made for her instantly.