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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.
is that likely—­if, as you suppose, Melchior is Sir Henry de Clare—­if, as you suppose, it is he who is now trying to find out and carry off Fleta—­is it probable that you will gain any information from him?  I have an idea that Fleta is the little girl said to have died, who was the child of his elder brother.  Why so?  What interest could Melchior have in stealing his own niece?  That I cannot tell.  Why did Nattee give me the necklace?  I cannot tell; she would hardly betray her husband.  At all events, there is a mystery, and it can only be unravelled by being pulled at; and I may learn something by meeting Melchior, whereas, I shall learn nothing by remaining quiet.  This last idea satisfied me, and for many hours I remained in a train of deep thought, only checked by paying for the horses at the end of every stage.

It was now past twelve o’clock, when I found that it was necessary to change the chaise at every post.  The country also, as well as the roads, had changed much for the worse.  Cultivation was not so great, the roads were mountainous, and civilisation generally disappeared.  It was nearly dark when I arrived at the last post, from whence I was to take horses to Mount Castle.  As usual, the chaise also was to be changed; and I could not help observing that each change was from bad to worse.  Rope harness was used, and the vehicles themselves were of the most crazy condition.  Still I had travelled very fairly, for an Irish postillion knows how to make an Irish horse go a very fair pace.  I descended from the chaise, and ordered another out immediately.  To this there was no reply, except, “Wait, your honour; step in a moment, and rest from your fatigue a little.”  Presuming this was merely to give them time to get ready, I walked into the room of the inn, which indeed was very little better than a hovel, and sat down by the turf fire in company with some others, whom I could hardly distinguish for smoke.  I paid the chaise and postillion, and soon afterwards heard it drive off, on its way back.  After a few minutes I inquired if the chaise was getting ready.

“Is it the chaise your honour means?” said the landlady.

“Yes,” replied I, “a chaise on to Mount Castle.”

“Then I am sorry that your honour must wait a little; for our chaise, and the only one which we have, is gone to the castle, and won’t be back till long after the moon is up.  What will your honour please to take?”

“Not back till moonlight,” replied I; “why did you not say so? and I would have gone on with the other.”

“Is it with the other you mane, your honour?  Then if Teddy Driscoll could make his horses go one step farther than our door, may I never have a soul to be saved.  Will your honour please to sit in the little room Kathleen shall light a fire.”

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