“‘Ah!’ said he, ’poor Mary—she’s gone to them at last; but she’ll be happier with them. Take my hand,’ said he to M’Loughlin, ’sure I thought I could do it. Poor Mary!’
“This instantly directed our attention to the unhappy woman, whom we had all overlooked and forgotten for the moment, and I need not say that our satisfaction was complete, on finding her sitting calmly on the rock where Raymond had placed her, at the risk of his life. Poll Doolin, now seeing that her idiot son was safe, and feeling that she was indebted for his life to the son of that man on whom she is said by many to have wreaked such a fearful vengeance, through the ruined reputation of his only daughter, now approached the young man, and with her features deeply convulsed by a sense probably of her obligation to him, she stretched out her hand, ‘John M’Loughlin,’ said she, ’from this day out may God prosper me here and hereafter, if I’m not the friend of you and yours!’
“‘Bad and vindictive woman,’ replied the other indignantly, whilst he held back the hand she sought, ’our accounts are now settled—I have saved your son; you have murdered my sister. If you are capable of remorse I now leave you to the hell of your own conscience, which can be but little less in punishment than that of the damned.’
“Raymond, whose attention had been divided between them and Mary O’Regan, now said—
“’Ha, ha, mother—there—that’s one—you’ll sleep sound now I hope, for you didn’t lately—that little thing that comes to your bedside at night, won’t trouble you any more, I suppose. No, no, the thing you say in your sleep, that is black in the face, has its tongue out, and the handkerchief drawn tight about its neck. You’d give back the money in your dhrame; but sorry a penny while you’re waken, I’ll engage.’
“Poll turned away rebuked, but not, if one could judge, either in resentment or revenge. Raymond’s words she had not heard, and of course paid no attention to what he said; but the latter, now seeing that the river had fallen considerably, again dashed into the stream, and crossing over, lifted the poor insane widow off the rock, and setting her down in safety on the other side, they both proceeded onwards together.
“‘The ford, sir, will not be passable for at least another hour,’ said young M’Loughlin, addressing me, ’but if you will have the kindness to step up to my father’s, and rest a little after your mountain journey, for I think you have been up the hills, you will find it at least more comfortable than standing here, and less fatiguing than going round by the bridge, which would make it at least five miles added to your journey.’
“I thanked him, said I felt obliged, and would gladly avail myself of his very civil invitation.
“‘Perhaps,’ he added, ’you might wish to see our flax and linen manufactory; if so, and that you do not think it troublesome, I will feel great pleasure in showing it to you.’