“Ah,” said Bob, “you can send it home, Father M’Cabe.”
“Bob,” said the wife, “die a True Blue, and don’t shame the family.”
“There is but a blue look up for you if you do,” said Father M’Cabe.
“Blue is the emblem of hope, and for that reason the Orange system has adopted it as illustrative of our faith,” said Mr. Lucre.
He had scarcely uttered the words, when Father Roche entered the sick apartment. High and haughty was the bow he received from Mr. Lucre; whilst Father M’Cabe seemed somewhat surprised at the presence of the reverend gentlemen. The latter looked mildly about him, wiped the moisture from his pale forehead and said—
“Mrs. Beatty, will you indulge me with a chair? On my return home I lost not a moment in coming here; but the walk I have had is a pretty long one, the greater part of it being up-hill.”
“Well,” replied Mrs. Beatty, “I’m not the woman to think one thing and speak another. To be sure, I’d rather he would die a True Blue than a Papish; but since he will die one, I’d rather have you at his side than e’er a priest in the kingdom. If there is a Christian among them, you are one—you are—so, Bob dear, since you’re bent on it, I won’t disturb you.”
“Bring your chair near me,” said Bob; “where is your hand, my dear sir? Give Me your hand.” Poor Bob caught Father Roche’s hand in his, and pressed it honestly and warmly.
“Bob,” said Mr. Lucre, “I don’t understand this; in what creed are you disposed to die?”
“You see, sir,” said M’Cabe, “that he won’t die in yours at any rate.”
“You will not die in my creed!” repeated the parson, astonished.
“No,” said Bob; “I will not.”
“You will then die in mine, of course?” said Mr. M’Cabe.
“No,” replied Bob; “I will not.”
“How is that?” said the priest.
“Explain yourself,” said Mr. Lucre.
“I’ll die a Christian,” replied Bob. “You’re both anything but what you ought to be; and if I wasn’t on my death-bed you’d hear more of it. Here is a Christian clergyman, and under his ministry I will die.”
“Ah,” said Mr. Lucre, “I perceive, Mrs. Beatty, that the poor man’s intellect is gone; whilst his reason was sound he remained a staunch Protestant, and as such, we shall claim him. He must be interred according to the rights of our church, for he dies clearly non compos mentis.”
Father Roche now addressed himself to Beatty, and prepared him for his great change, as became a pious and faithful minister of the gospel. Beatty, however, was never capable of serious impressions. Still, his feelings were as solemn as could be expected, from a man whose natural temperament had always inclined him to facetiousness and humor. He died the next day, after a severe fit, from which he recovered only to linger about half an hour in a state of stupor and insensibility.