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.

“I have understood from George Gamble, Lord Cumber’s own man, that he wants money.”

“Tut,” replied Deaker, who now forgot a great deal of his swearing, and applied himself to the subject, with all the coolness and ability of a thorough man of business.

“Tut, Val, is that your news?  When was he ever otherwise?  Come to the point; the thing’s desirable—­but how can it be done?”

“I think it can; but it must be by very nice handling indeed.”

“Well—­your nice handling then?”

“The truth is, that Hickman, I suspect, is almost sick of the agency—­thanks to Lord Cumber’s extravagance, and an occasional bit of blister which I, through the tenantry, lay on him at home.  Cumber, you know, is an unsteady scoundrel, and in the ordinary I transactions of life, has no fixed principle, for he is possessed of little honor, and I am afraid not much honesty.”

“Oh murder! this from Val the Vulture!  Let me look at you!  Did M’Slime bite you? or have you turned Methodist?  Holy Jupiter, what a sermon!  Curse your beak, sir; go on, and no preaching.”

“Not much honesty as I said.  Now, sir, if you, who have him doubly in your power—­first, by the mortgage; and, secondly, as his political godfather, who can either put him in, or keep him out of the country—­if you were to write him a friendly, confidential letter, in which, observe, you are about to finally arrange your affairs; and you are sorry—­quite sorry—­but the truth is, something must be done about the mortgage—­you are very sorry—­mark—­but you are old, and cannot leave your property in an unsettled state.  Just touch that part of it so—­”

“Yes—­touch and go.”

“Exactly—­touch and go.  Well, you pass then to the political portion of it.  Hickman’s political opinions are not well known, or at least doubtful.  Indeed you have reason to believe that he will not support his lordship or his family—­is not in the confidence of government—­displeased at the Union—­and grumbles about corruption.  His lordship is abroad you know, and cannot think for himself.  You speak as his friend—­his tried friend—­he ought to have a man on his property who is staunch, can be depended on, and who will see that full justice is done him in his absence.  Hickman, too, is against Ascendancy principles.  Do you see, sir?”

“Proceed—­what next?”

“Why, we stop there for the present; nothing more can be done until we hear from the scoundrel himself.”

“And what do you imagine will be the upshot?”

“Why, I think it not at all unlikely that he will place himself and his interests, pecuniary and political, altogether in your hands, and consequently you will probably have the guiding of him.”

“Well, Val, you are an able knave to be sure; but never mind; I like you all the better.  The true doctrine is always—­eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow you die,—­take as much out of life and your fellow-men as you can.  There’s no knavery in the grave, my Vulture.  There the honest man and the knave are alike; and this being the case, what the devil is public opinion worth?”

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