Doyle. Her photographs stopped at twenty-five.
Broadbent [saddened]. Ah yes, I suppose so. [With feeling, severely] Larry: you’ve treated that poor girl disgracefully.
Doyle. By George, if she only knew that two men were talking about her like this—!
Broadbent. She wouldn’t like it, would she? Of course not. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves, Larry. [More and more carried away by his new fancy]. You know, I have a sort of presentiment that Miss Really is a very superior woman.
Doyle [staring hard at him]. Oh you have, have you?
Broadbent. Yes I have. There is something very touching about the history of this beautiful girl.
Doyle. Beau—! Oho! Here’s a chance for Nora! and for me! [Calling] Hodson.
Hodson [appearing at the bedroom door]. Did you call, sir?
Doyle. Pack for me too. I’m going to Ireland with Mr Broadbent.
Hodson. Right, sir. [He retires into the bedroom.]
Broadbent [clapping Doyle on the shoulder].
Thank you, old chap.
Rosscullen. Westward a hillside of granite rock and heather slopes upward across the prospect from south to north, a huge stone stands on it in a naturally impossible place, as if it had been tossed up there by a giant. Over the brow, in the desolate valley beyond, is a round tower. A lonely white high road trending away westward past the tower loses itself at the foot of the far mountains. It is evening; and there are great breadths of silken green in the Irish sky. The sun is setting.
A man with the face of a young saint, yet with white hair and perhaps 50 years on his back, is standing near the stone in a trance of intense melancholy, looking over the hills as if by mere intensity of gaze he could pierce the glories of the sunset and see into the streets of heaven. He is dressed in black, and is rather more clerical in appearance than most English curates are nowadays; but he does not wear the collar and waistcoat of a parish priest. He is roused from his trance by the chirp of an insect from a tuft of grass in a crevice of the stone. His face relaxes: he turns quietly, and gravely takes off his hat to the tuft, addressing the insect in a brogue which is the jocular assumption of a gentleman and not the natural speech of a peasant.
The man. An is that yourself, Misther Grasshopper? I hope I see you well this fine evenin.
The grasshopper [prompt and shrill in answer]. X.X.
The man [encouragingly]. That’s right. I suppose now you’ve come out to make yourself miserable by admyerin the sunset?
The grasshopper [sadly]. X.X.
The man. Aye, you’re a thrue Irish grasshopper.