There! that was the very way his father stood with his feet on the steps. And Miss Nugent was in it.’
Lord Colambre forgot what he was going to say—with some difficulty recollected.
‘This pocket-book,’ said he, ’which your son restored to me—I intend it for your daughter—don’t keep it, as your son kept it for me, without opening it. Let what is within-side,’ added he, as he got into the carriage, ’replace the cloak and gown, and let all things necessary for a bride be bought; “for the bride that has all things to borrow has surely mickle to do.”—Shut the door, and drive on.’
‘Blessings be WID you,’ cried the widow, ‘and God give you grace!’
Larry drove off at full gallop, and kept on at a good rate, till he got out of the great gate, and beyond the sight of the crowd; then, pulling up, he turned to Lord Colambre—’plase your honour, I did not know nor guess ye was my lord, when I let you have the horses; did not know who you was from Adam, I’ll take my affidavit.’
‘There’s no occasion,’ said Lord Colambre; ’I hope you don’t repent letting me have the horses, now you do know who I am?’
’Oh! not at all, sure; I’m as glad as the best horse I ever crossed, that your honour is my lord—but I was only telling your honour, that you might not be looking upon me as a time-Server.’
’I do not look upon you as a time-Server, Larry; but keep on, that time may serve me.’
In two words, he explained his cause of haste; and no sooner explained than understood. Larry thundered away through the town of Clonbrony, bending over his horses, plying the whip, and lending his very soul at every lash. With much difficulty, Lord Colambre stopped him at the end of the town, at the post-office. The post was gone out-gone a quarter of an hour.
‘Maybe we’ll overtake the mail,’ said Larry; and, as he spoke, he slid down from his seat, and darted into the public-house, reappearing, in a few moments, with a copper of ale and a horn in his hand; he and another man held open the horses’ mouths, and poured the ale through the horn down their throats. ‘Now, they’ll go with spirit!’
And, with the hope of overtaking the mail, Larry made them go ’for life or death,’ as he said; but in vain! At the next stage, at his own inn-door, Larry roared for fresh horses till he got them, harnessed them with his own hands, holding the six-shilling piece, which Lord Colambre had given him, in his mouth, all the while; for he could not take time to put it into his pocket.
‘Speed ye! I wish I was driving you all the way, then,’ said he. The other postillion was not yet ready. ‘Then your honour sees,’ said he, putting his head into the carriage, ’CONSARNING of them Garraghties—old Nick and St. Dennis—the best part, that is the worst part, of what I told you, proved true; and I’m glad of it, that is, I’m sorry for it—but glad your honour knows it in time. So Heaven prosper you! And may all the saints (barring St. Dennis) have charge of you, and all belonging to you, till we see you here again!—And when will it be?’