Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 786 pages of information about Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent.
occasions, felt, as we before said, strongly inclined to believe her guilty.  He determined, however, not to rest here, but to sift the matter to the bottom.  He accordingly heard from his cousin, and from several others, while in prison, such details of the particulars, and such an authentic list of the persons who were present, many of whom, owing to the ingenious malignity of Poll Doolin, were friendly and favorable to the family—­that he privately sent for them, and on comparing the narratives one with the other, he found the harmony among them so strong, that he gave up all thoughts of her, save such as recurred involuntarily to his mind with indignation and anguish.  In addition to his other mortifications, it happened that the second day after his release from imprisonment was what the agents call “Gale day;” that is, the day upon which they get into their chair of state, as it were, and in all the insolence of office receive their rents, and give a general audience to the tenantry.  Phil, indeed, even more than the father, looked forward to these days with an exultation of soul and a consciousness of authority, that fully repaid him for all the insults, disasters, and tweakings of the nose, which he was forced to suffer during the whole year besides.  In truth, nothing could equal, much less surpass, the Pistolian spirit by which this lion-hearted gentleman was then animated.  His frown, swagger, bluster, and authoritative shakings of his head, the annihilating ferocity of his look, and the inflated pomp of manner with which he addressed them, and “damned his honor,” were all inimitable in their way.  The father was more cautious and within bounds, simply because he had more sense, and knew the world better; but, at the same time, it was easy to see by his manner, that in spite of all his efforts at impartiality and justice, he possessed the poison as well as the wisdom of the serpent, but not one atom of the harmlessness of the dove.  At another table, a little to the right of M’Clutchy, sat M’Slime, ready to take his appropriate part in the proceedings of the day, and prepared, whilst engaged in the task of seeing that everything was done according to law, to throw in “a word in season, touching the interests of the gospel.”

At length eleven o’clock arrived, and found Val, Phil, our old friend Darby, who had not yet entered upon the duties of his office, together with one or two other understrappers, all ready for business.  The two principal characters were surrounded by books, rentals, receipts, and every other document necessary and usual upon such occasions.  The day was wet and cold, and by no means in the spirit of the season; but we know not why it happens, that there seems in general to be a fatality of disastrous weather peculiar to such days, leading one to imagine that the agent possessed such a necromantic foreknowledge of the weather, as enabled him to superinduce the severity of the elements upon his own cruelty.  In a country so poor as

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Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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