“Yes, I should indeed, mamma,” she returned in a regretful tone, and they passed out.
“That countryman of yours has much the handsomest face about that establishment. Cousin Ronald,” remarked Lucilla, with a smile, as they proceeded on their way.
“I agree with you in that opinion, lassie,” laughed the old gentleman, “and I have no doubt that he would also, had he heard you express it.”
“How very much there is to see here!” remarked Dr. Conly—“men, women, and children from all parts of the world, clad in their own odd, native attire; Chinese, Japanese, Dahomeyans, Nubians, wild Arabs, Persians, Soudanese, Algerians, Javanese, and Cingalese.”
“And some of the buildings are as singular in appearance as the people who occupy them,” added his wife.
“Let us visit the village and castle of Blarney,” said Rosie.
“You want to kiss the Blarney Stone, do you?” asked Herbert laughingly.
“No need of that,” said Walter; “she can blarney fast enough if she wants to, and that without ever having seen the stone.”
“What is blarney, papa?” asked little Elsie.
“Coaxing, wheedling, and flattering,” he replied. “The village we are going to see is said to be a fair representation of one of that name in Ireland, about four miles from the city of Cork, in which there is a castle called Blarney Castle, which has stood there for more than four hundred years. The castle has a tower, as you will see, and on the top of it is a stone the kissing of which is said to confer the gift of ability to wheedle and flatter. But the true stone is said to be another in a wall where it can be kissed only by a person held over the parapet.”
“Oh, I shouldn’t like that at all, papa!” Elsie exclaimed. “I’d be afraid of falling, and I shouldn’t like to kiss a dirty stone.”
“Well, daughter, I shall never ask you to do so,” he answered, with a kindly smile down into the bright, rosy little face.
They were entering the village as he spoke. Some little time was spent there very agreeably, after which they returned to the Dolphin for the night.
There was a gathering of friends and relatives on the Dolphin that evening: all from Pleasant Plains were there; Chester and Frank Dinsmore also and the Ion family. The brother and sister of Grandma Elsie, and her eldest daughter with her husband and children, had paid their visit to the Fair at an earlier date and returned home.
Expecting to do a good deal of entertaining Captain Raymond had taken care to have his boat well provisioned, and all were cordially invited to stay and take dinner on board.