“I don’t think the same thing will happen a second time, Mr. Harman,” replied the gigantic Orangeman; “but, the truth is, the men are half drunk, and were made so before they came here.”
“Well, but I thank you, Harvey; deeply and from my soul, I thank you.”
“You needn’t, Mr. Harman; I hate a dirty and ungenerous thing. Phil’s a brother Orangeman, and my tongue is tied—no doubt I’ll be expelled for knocking these two scoundrels down, but I don’t care; it was too bad and too cruel, and, let the upshot be what it may, Gordon Harvey is not the man to back a scoundrelly act, no matter who does it, or who orders it.”
They shook hands cordially, and we now must leave the family for a time, to follow the course of other events that bear upon our narrative.
CHAPTER XXVII.—Bob Beatty’s Last Illness
—A Holy Steeple Chase—A Dead Heat—Blood against Varmint—Rival Claims—A Mutual Disappointment—The Last Plea for Salvation—Non Compos Mentis
Our readers may remember that we have alluded to an Orangeman, named Bob Beatty, who had become a convert to the Church of Rome. This Beatty, on the part of the priest, was a very fair set-off against Darby O’Drive, on the part of Mr. Lucre. As they were now on the eve of the great discussion, each felt considerable gratification in having his convert ready to produce at the discussion, as a living proof of his zeal for religious truth. The principal vexation which the priest had felt, lay in the almost insuperable difficulty of keeping Bob from liquor, inasmuch as whenever he happened to take a glass too much, he always forgot his conversion, and generally drank the Glorious Memory, and all other charter toasts, from habit. It so happened, however, that a few days previous to the great Tournay, Bob became so ill in health, that there was little hope of his surviving any length of time. During this illness, he had several interviews with. Father Roche, who informed him of the near approach of death, and prepared him, as well as could readily be done, to meet it; for truth to tell, he was at all times an impracticable subject on which to produce religious impressions. Be this as it may, a day or two previous to the discussion, his wife, feeling that he was near his dissolution, and determined, if possible, that he should not die a Roman Catholic, went in hurry for Mr. Clement, who happened to be in attendance on a funeral and was consequently from home. In the meantime, his Roman Catholic neighbor, hearing that she meant to fetch the minister, naturally anxious that the man should not die a Protestant, lost no time in acquainting Father M’Cabe with his situation. Mrs. Beatty, however, finding that Mr. Clement was not to be procured, left her message with his family, and proceeded in all haste to Mr. Lucre’s in order to secure his attendance.
“My good woman,” said he, “your husband, I trust, is not in such danger. Mr. Clement cannot certainly be long absent, and he will attend; I am not quite well, or I should willingly go myself.”