’I cannot say when I shall return to you myself, but I will do my best to send your landlord to you soon. In the meantime, my good fellow, keep away from the sign of the Horse-shoe—a man of your sense to drink and make an idiot and a brute of yourself!’
’True!—And it was only when I had lost hope I took to it—but now! Bring me the book, one of yees, out of the landlady’s parlour.—By the virtue of this book, and by all the books that ever was shut and opened, I won’t touch a drop of spirits, good or bad, till I see your honour again, or some of the family, this time twelvemonth—that long I’ll live on hope—but mind, if you disappoint me, I don’t swear but I’ll take to the whisky, for comfort, all the rest of my days. But don’t be staying here, wasting your time, advising me. Bartley! take the reins, can’t ye?’ cried he, giving them to the fresh postillion; ’and keep on, for your life, for there’s thousands of pounds depending on the race—so, off, off, Bartley, with speed of light!’
Bartley did his best; and such was the excellence of the roads, that, notwithstanding the rate at which our hero travelled, he arrived safely in Dublin, and just in time to put his letter into the post-office, and to sail in that night’s packet. The wind was fair when Lord Colambre went on board, but before they got out of the bay it changed; they made no way all night; in the course of the next day, they had the mortification to see another packet from Dublin sail past them, and when they landed at Holyhead, were told the packet, which had left Ireland twelve hours after them, had been in an hour before them. The passengers had taken their places in the coach, and engaged what horses could be had. Lord Colambre was afraid that Mr. Garraghty was one of them; a person exactly answering his description had taken four horses, and set out half an hour before in great haste for London. Luckily, just as those who had taken their places in the mail were getting into the coach, Lord Colambre saw among them a gentleman, with whom he had been acquainted in Dublin, a barrister, who was come over during the long vacation, to make a tour of pleasure in England. When Lord Colambre explained the reason he had for being in haste to reach London, he had the good-nature to give up to him his place in the coach. Lord Colambre travelled all night, and delayed not one moment, till he reached his father’s house in London.
‘My father at home?’
’Yes, my lord, in his own room—the agent from Ireland with him, on particular business—desired not to be interrupted—but I’ll go and tell him, my lord, you are come.’
Lord Colambre ran past the servant, as he spoke—made his way into the room—found his father, Sir Terence O’Fay, and Mr. Garraghty—leases open on the table before them; a candle lighted; Sir Terence sealing; Garraghty emptying a bag of guineas on the table, and Lord Clonbrony actually with a pen in his hand, ready to sign.