The next morning saw him, with his servant, on the Ballinasloe coach, travelling towards Kelly’s Court; and, also, saw Brien Boru, Granuell, and Finn M’Goul led across the downs, from Igoe’s stables to Handicap Lodge.
The handsome sheets, hoods, and rollers, in which they had hitherto appeared, and on which the initial B was alone conspicuous, were carefully folded up, and they were henceforth seen in plainer, but as serviceable apparel, labelled W. B.
“Will you give fourteen to one against Brien Boru?” said Viscount Avoca to Lord Tathenham Corner, about ten days after this, at Tattersall’s.
“I will,” said Lord Tathenham.
“In hundreds?” said the sharp Irishman.
“Very well,” said Lord Tathenham; and the bet was booked.
“You didn’t know, I suppose,” said the successful viscount, “that Dot Blake has bought Brien Boru?”
“And who the devil’s Dot Blake?” said Lord Tathenham.
“Oh! you’ll know before May’s over,” said the viscount.
It will be remembered that the Tuam attorney, Daly, dined with Barry Lynch, at Dunmore House, on the same evening that Martin Kelly reached home after his Dublin excursion; and that, on that occasion, a good deal of interesting conversation took place after dinner. Barry, however, was hardly amenable to reason at that social hour, and it was not till the following morning that he became thoroughly convinced that it would be perfectly impossible for him to make his sister out a lunatic to the satisfaction of the Chancellor.
He then agreed to abandon the idea, and, in lieu of it, to indict, or at any rate to threaten to indict, the widow Kelly and her son for a conspiracy, and an attempt to inveigle his sister Anty into a disgraceful marriage, with the object of swindling her out of her property.
“I’ll see Moylan, Mr Lynch,” said Daly; “and if I can talk him over, I think we might succeed in frightening the whole set of them, so far as to prevent the marriage. Moylan must know that if your sister was to marry young Kelly, there’d be an end to his agency; but we must promise him something, Mr Lynch.”
“Yes; I suppose we must pay him, before we get anything out of him.”
“No, not before—but he must understand that he will get something, if he makes himself useful. You must let me explain to him that if the marriage is prevented, you will make no objection to his continuing to act as Miss Lynch’s agent; and I might hint the possibility of his receiving the rents on the whole property.”
“Hint what you like, Daly, but don’t tie me down to the infernal ruffian. I suppose we can throw him overboard afterwards, can’t we?”
“Why, not altogether, Mr Lynch. If I make him a definite promise, I shall expect you to keep to it.”
“Confound him!—but tell me, Daly; what is it he’s to do?—and what is it we’re to do?”