“Mrs. Tennant is not angry with you now, Kathleen. On the contrary, she loves you very much; and she will take Miss Ruth Craven back with her. I have been trying to induce her to stay here herself, but she won’t; and as Ruth is anxious to return home, her escort has come very opportunely. As to you, darling, nothing will induce me to part with you until to-morrow morning.”
“But what will you do about school?” said Ruth.
“That can be managed,” said Miss O’Flynn. “It isn’t the first time that Kathleen and I have got up with the sunrise. We’ll get up to-morrow before it, I’m thinking, and take a train, and be in time to have a good breakfast at Mrs. Tennant’s.—Then if you, my dear lady, will put up with me until lunch-time, I can see more of my Kathleen, and propound some plans for your pleasure as well as hers. If you must go, Mrs. Tennant, I am afraid you must, for the next train leaves Charing Cross for Merrifield at ten minutes past nine.”
Mrs. Tennant looked grave, but it was difficult to resist Miss O’Flynn, and the time was passing. Accordingly she and Ruth left the Hotel Metropole, and the aunt and niece found themselves alone.
MISS KATIE O’FLYNN AND HER NIECE.
“Now, Kathleen,” said Miss O’Flynn, “you come straight up to my bedroom, where there is a cosy fire, and where we will be just as snug as Punch. We’ll draw two chairs up to the fire and have a real collogue, that we will.”
“Yes, that we will,” said Kathleen. “I have a lot of things to ask you, and a lot of things to tell you.”
“Come along then, dear child. My room is on the second floor; we won’t wait for the lift.”
Kathleen took Miss Katie O’Flynn’s hand, and they ran merrily and as lightly as two-year-olds up the stairs. People turned to look at them as they sped upwards.
“Why, the little old lady seems as young and agile as the pretty niece,” said one visitor to another.
“Oh, they’re both Irish; that accounts for anything,” was the answer. “The most extraordinary and the most lively nation on the face of the earth.”
The two vivacious Irishwomen entered their bedroom. Aunt Katie flung herself into a deep arm-chair; Kathleen did likewise, and then they talked to their heart’s content. It is good to hear two Irishwomen conversing together, for there is so much action in the conversation—such lifting of brows, such raising of hands, such emphasis in tone, in voice, in manner. Imagery is so freely employed; telling sentences, sharp satire, wit—brilliant, overflowing, spontaneous—all come to the fore. Laughter sometimes checks the eager flow of words. Occasionally, too, if the conversation is sorrowful, tears flow and sobs come from the excited and over-sensitive hearts. No one need be dull who has the privilege of listening to two Irishwomen who have been parted for some time talking their hearts