The information, he proceeded to say, when writing to the Castle, which came to him anonymously, was to the effect that by secretly searching the eaves of certain houses specified in the communication received, he would find documents, clearly corroborating the existence and design of the conspiracy just alluded to. That he had accordingly done so, and to his utter surprise, found that his anonymous informant was right. He begged to enclose copies of the papers, together with the names of the families residing in the houses where they were found. He did not like, indeed, to be called a “Conspiracy hunter,” as no man more deprecated their existence; but he was so devotedly attached to the interests of his revered sovereign, and those of his government, that no matter at what risk, either of person or reputation, he would never shrink from avowing or manifesting that attachment to them. And he had the honor to be, his very obedient servant.
Valentine M’Clutohy, J.P.
P.S.—He begged to enclose for his perusal a letter from his warm friend, Lord Cumber, on the necessity, as he properly terms it, of getting up a corps of cavalry, which is indeed a second thought, as they would be much better adapted, upon long pursuits and under pressing circumstances, for scouring the country, which is now so dreadfully disturbed. And has once more the honor to be, Val M’C.
Representations like these, aided by that most foolish and besotted tendency which so many of the ignorant and uneducated peasantry have of entering into such associations, did not fail in working out M’Clutchy’s designs. Most of those in whose houses these papers were placed, fled the country, among whom was O’Regan, whose dying son Deaker’s Dashers treated with such indefensible barbarity; and what made everything appear to fall in with his good fortune, it was much about this period that Grimes, the unfeeling man whom O’Regan appeared to have in his eye when he uttered such an awful vow of vengeance, was found murdered not far from his own house, with a slip of paper pinned to his coat, on which were written, in a disguised hand the words—“Remember O’Regan’s son, and let tyrants tremble.”
Many strong circumstances appeared to bring this murder home to O’Regan. From the day of his son’s death until the illegal papers were found in the eave of his house, he had never rested one moment. His whole soul seemed darkly to brood over that distressing event, and to have undergone a change, as it were, from good to evil. His brow lowered, his cheek got gaunt and haggard, and his eye hollow and wolfish with ferocity. Neither did he make any great secret of his intention to execute vengeance on those who hurried his dying child out of life whilst in the very throes of dissolution. He was never known, however, to name any names, nor to mark out any particular individual for revenge. His denunciations were general, but fearful in their import. The necessity, too, of deserting his wife and child sealed his ruin, which was not hard to do, as the man was at best but poor, or merely able, as it is termed, to live from hand to mouth. His flight, therefore, and all the circumstances of the case considered, it is not strange that he was the object of general suspicion, and that the officers of justice were sharply on the lookout for a clue to him.