“I would rather see him here,” replied the other; “and I wish I had gev him the cock first, when he came out of the room; but what’d she do without his white head before her?—what’ll she do, and not have that to look at? But stop,” said Raymond—“wait a minute, and we’ll soon see whether he’ll waken or not.”
He then went into the little room where the poor child had lain during his illness, and immediately returned, bearing the cock in his hands—
“Wait,” said he; “I was bringing the bird to poor little Brian, for I promised it to him. We’ll see—we’ll see.”
As he uttered the words, he placed the bird down on the child’s bosom and called out—
“Brian, here’s your present for you, that I promised you—won’t you waken?—spake open your blue eyes, achora machree, and look at the fine bird I brought you.”
It was a most affecting little incident; for the contrast between the fiery scintillations flashed from the eye of the noble bird, the utter unbroken stillness of death, as character was so mournfully impressed upon the fair sweet features of innocence, was indeed such as few parental hearts could withstand. Raymond looked awhile as if even he had been struck by it.
“Ah no,” said he, going down to his mother; “no, Mary, he will never waken—and then what will you do for Brian’s white head?”
“Whisht!” she replied; “whisht, and I’ll sing you a song. I have nothing else to do now but to sing and be happy—
father, farewell mother,
Farewell friends, and farewell foes!
I now will go and court some other,
For love it was the causer of all my woes.”
“An’ so it was,” she said; “for I did love some one, I think; but who they were, or where they are gone to, I cannot tell. Is your name,” she added, her eye blazing as she spoke to Raymond, “is your, name M’Clutchy?”
“Say it is,” suggested one of the neighbors; “may be it may startle the poor thing into her senses.”
“That’s not very likely,” replied another, “for it has startled her out of them—God in his mercy pity her!”
Raymond, however, adopted the first suggestion, without knowing why; and said in a loud voice—
“Ay is it; my name is Val the Vulture, that commands the blood-hounds.”
The creature started—became for a moment as if convulsed—then proceeded at a speed that was incredible, screaming frightfully, across the dark and desolate scenery that surrounded the house. It was vain to pursue her; for there was none there capable of doing it with success, unless Raymond, who understood not that she had become insane.
CHAPTER IX.—A Dialogue, exhibiting Singular Principles of Justice
—Solomon’s Tracts and Triumph—A Sincere Convert—Darby’s Views of Religion—Poll Doolin’s Honesty—Solomon’s Christian Generosity to a Man in Difficulty—M’Loughlin and his Family.