Drunk as Arthur was, he comprehended his meaning, but advancing towards him with uncertain gait, he placed a hand upon each shoulder and forced him back into his seat, uttering a fearful oath.
Sally strove to quiet him, and implored her father to excuse him, at the same time begging of Arthur to leave the house. The consternation and excitement of those about him, seemed to add fuel to the fire already within him, and tearing the bible from the old woman’s lap, he hurled it on the fire. Tip rushed to save it, but Arthur seized the poker and stood threatening death to any who dared to touch it. Tip, undaunted, made another effort. The dreadful weapon fell upon his unprotected head, and in another instant he was stretched upon the floor. The sight of poor Tip in such a state, together with the wailing and weeping of Sally and her mother, seemed to have the effect of sobering him a little; he threw down the poker, opened the door, and, without a word, passed out.
A bright spring morning succeeded the night on which the commotion had taken place in Tip’s usually quiet home. He was stirring about the house as was his custom, a bandage over his brow being the only indication of the recent unpleasant event. The wound was not a dangerous one, and the unceasing attention of his daughter had enabled him to rally much sooner than might have been expected. Sally and her mother were also bustling about. Not a word escaped from any of them in reference to what had taken place. Old Tip looked more than usually morose, the mother, more than usually sorrowful, and Sally’s brow was contracted and her lips compressed, and her eyes spoke of fixed determination. She dressed herself with more than usual care, and lingered over many little things before she bade her usual good morning; and when she closed the door she gazed a moment at the old familiar structure, wiped the tears from her eyes, that in spite or all she could do, would come to testify that her heart was not so callous as she fain would make it appear; and then she walked rapidly away—but not to her work. No! she sought the home of him who had come like a blight on their domestic peace. She carried with her no feeling of resentment—her heart was full of love and compassion. She had undergone a dreadful struggle. The climax had arrived. She must choose between her parents and her lover. It was a hard, hard task, but it was over. House and parents, all that had been associated with her early and happy years, sacrificed for one whose past life had brought to her so much misery.
She reached the door, rang the bell, and was ushered into the room in which Arthur sat vainly endeavouring to recall the circumstances of the preceding night. He was pleased yet astonished to see her, and they were quickly engaged in an earnest and hurried conversation. In a few minutes Arthur rang the bell, and gave orders for all his boxes to be packed and conveyed to the nearest railway station. He called for his bill which he discharged with alacrity, a hired carriage was at the door, Arthur and Sally entered it and she returned home no more.