“Just as you like, Mat,” and Blake rang the bell, and the hot water was brought.
“You know Savarius O’Leary,” said Morris, anxious to tell his story, “eh, Tierney?”
“What, Savy, with the whiskers?” said Tierney, “to be sure I do. Who doesn’t know Savy?”
“You know him, don’t you, Lord Ballindine?” Morris was determined everybody should listen to him.
“Oh yes, I know him; he comes from County Mayo—his property’s close to mine; that is, the patch of rocks and cabins—which he has managed to mortgage three times over, and each time for more than its value—which he still calls the O’Leary estate.”
“Well; some time ago—that is, since London began to fill, O’Leary was seen walking down Regent Street, with a parson. How the deuce he’d ever got hold of the parson, or the parson of him, was never explained; but Phil Mahon saw him, and asked him who his friend in the white choker was. ‘Is it my friend in black, you mane?’ says Savy, ’thin, my frind was the Honourable and the Riverind Augustus Howard, the Dane.’ ’Howard the Dane,’ said Mahon, ’how the duce did any of the Howards become Danes?’ ‘Ah, bother!’ said Savy, ’it’s not of thim Danes he is; it’s not the Danes of Shwaden I mane, at all, man; but a rural Dane of the Church of England.’”
Mat Tierney laughed heartily at this, and even Frank forgot that his dignity had been hurt, and that he meant to be sulky; and he laughed also: the little member was delighted with his success, and felt himself encouraged to persevere.
“Ah, Savy’s a queer fellow, if you knew him,” he continued, turning to Lord Ballindine, “and, upon my soul, he’s no fool. Oh, if you knew him as well—”
“Didn’t you hear Ballindine say he was his next door neighbour in Mayo?” said Blake, “or, rather, next barrack neighbour; for they dispense with doors in Mayo—eh, Frank? and their houses are all cabins or barracks.”
“Why, we certainly don’t pretend to all the Apuleian luxuries of Handicap Lodge; but we are ignorant enough to think ourselves comfortable, and swinish enough to enjoy our pitiable state.”
“I beg ten thousand pardons, my dear fellow. I didn’t mean to offend your nationality. Castlebar, we must allow, is a fine provincial city—though Killala’s the Mayo city, I believe; and Claremorris, which is your own town I think, is, as all admit, a gem of Paradise: only it’s a pity so many of the houses have been unroofed lately. It adds perhaps to the picturesque effect, but it must, I should think, take away from the comfort.”
“Not a house in Claremorris belongs to me,” said Lord Ballindine, again rather sulky, “or ever did to any of my family. I would as soon own Claremorris, though, as I would Castleblakeney. Your own town is quite as shattered-looking a place.”
“That’s quite true—but I have some hopes that Castleblakeney will be blotted out of the face of creation before I come into possession.”