“I can only take him to the gates, sir; unfortunately there’s no entrance there for a papish, Captain Phil; if we could only get him to turn Protestant, sir, it’s himself ’ud get the warm welcome. But,” he proceeded, addressing Val, “wouldn’t it be a charity, sir, to go over and see the state he’s in; Tom Corbet, the butler, says its a burnin’ sin and shame to look at him, widout any one near him but that vagabone, Miss Fuzzle, an’ he dyin’, like a dog.”
“I shall be there immediately,” replied Val. “Bring the ass home again; we do not want him. Now, Phil,” he proceeded, “I shall ride over, to see how matters are going on; and in the meantime I think it would be well to get Hanlon, and those other two who were out with Darby for his protection—for the fellow pretends to be afraid, and carries arms—it would be as well, I say, to get two or three additional affidavits against this Easel prepared by my return; for we must make our case as firm as we can. Whether the fellow’s a Popish Agent, or whether he’s not, doesn’t matter a curse. I don’t think he is myself; but at all events it will be a strong proof in the eye of the government, that we are at least vigilant, active, and useful men. I will entrust his arrest to you, and you shall have the full credit of it at headquarters. I hope soon to have you on the Bench. Only I do beg, that for your own sake and mine, you will keep from the brandy. I have remitted the rents to Lord Cumber, who will soon make them fly.”
In a few minutes afterwards he proceeded at full speed to the edifying death-bed of his father.
Whilst Phil is preparing the supplementary affidavits for Easel’s arrest, which he stretched out considerably by interpolations drawn from his own imagination, we shall follow Darby to M’Slime’s, observing, en passant, that the aforesaid Darby, as he went, might have been perceived to grin and chuckle, and sometimes give a short, low, abrupt cackle, of a nature peculiarly gratifying to himself.
“Devil a smite ever either of them left on any bone thrown me,” he exclaimed. “Instead o’ that they begridged me the very fees that I was entitled to, bad luck to them! Well no matther!” and here he shrugged and chuckled again, and so continued to do as he went along.
As for Solomon, he felt full occasion that morning for all his privileges and spiritual sustainment. A few days previous, he had been brought before his brother Elders by Susanna’s father, whose statement was unfortunately too plain to admit of any doubt or misapprehension on the subject. These respectable men—for with but another exception they were so—discharged their duty as became them. The process of expulsion was gone into, but rather with a spirit of sorrow for the failings of an erring and sinful fellow-creature, than with any of the dogmatic and fiery indignation, which, under the plea of charity for his soul, is too often poured upon the head of a backslider. The fact