Wit and genius: The plan propounded.
While Kathleen was locked in Alice’s room, she was writing to her father:
“My darling daddy.—If ever there was a cold, dreary, abominable land, it is this where they wave the British flag. The ugliness of it would make you sick. The people are as ugly as the country, and they’re so stiff and stuck-up. If you suppose for a moment that your wild Irish girl can stand much of this sort of thing, you are fine and mistaken, and you can tell the mother so. I mean to write to Aunt Katie O’Flynn to-morrow and give her a fine piece of my mind. Early in the day, dad, I did not think that I could stay at all; but I have got a plan in my head now, and if I succeed I may at least put up with one term of this detestable school. I won’t tell you the plan, for you mightn’t approve; in fact, I can guess in advance that you wouldn’t approve. Anyhow, it is going to occupy the time and thoughts of your Kathleen. Now I want a good bit of money; not a pound or even five pounds, but more than that. Can you send me a ten-pound note, daddy mine, and say nothing whatever about it to the mother or the retainers at Carrigrohane? And can you let me have it as quick as quick can be? Maybe I will want more before the term is up, or maybe I won’t. Anyhow, we will let that lie in the future. Oh, my broth of an old dad, wouldn’t I like to hug you this blessed minute? How is everybody at home? How are the mountains? How is the sea? How is the trout-stream? Are those young cousins of mine behaving themselves, the spalpeens? And how are you, my heart of hearts—missing your Kathleen, I doubt not? Well, no more for the present. They’re rattling at the door like anything, and there’s a detestable boy now whistling ’Garry Owen’ right into my heart. You can’t imagine what I am feeling. Oh, the omadhaun! he is changing it now into ’St. Patrick’s Day,’ Wisha, then, daddy! I must stop, for it’s more than the heart of woman can stand. Your affectionate daughter,
This letter was posted by Kathleen herself. After supper she went with David into the old loft over the tumble-down stables. It was not a very safe place of refuge, for the rafters were rotten and might tumble down at any time. Still, the sense of danger made it all, the more interesting to the children. There they sat side by side, and Kathleen told David about her old life. She was very outspoken and affectionate, and very fierce and very wild. To look at her, one would have said there never was any one less reserved; but Kathleen in her heart of hearts was intensely reserved. Her real feelings she never told; her real hopes she never breathed. She talked with high spirits all the time; and although she liked David and was much comforted by his words and his actions, he did not get at the real Kathleen at all.