“Why, Mr Lynch, it’s more than probable, I think, that this plan of Martin Kelly’s marrying your sisther may have been talked over between the ould woman, Moylan, and the young man; and if so, that’s something like a conspiracy. If I could worm that out of him, I think I’d manage to frighten them.”
“And what the deuce had I better do? You see, there was a bit of a row between us. That is, Anty got frightened when I spoke to her of this rascal, and then she left the house. Couldn’t you make her understand that she’d be all right if she’d come to the house again?”
While Barry Lynch had been sleeping off the effects of the punch, Daly had been inquiring into the circumstances under which Anty had left the house, and he had pretty nearly learned the truth; he knew, therefore, how much belief to give to his client’s representation.
“I don’t think,” said he, “that your sister will be likely to come back at present; she will probably find herself quieter and easier at the inn. You see, she has been used to a quiet life.”
“But, if she remains there, she can marry that young ruffian any moment she takes it into her head to do so. There’s always some rogue of a priest ready to do a job of that sort.”
“Exactly so, Mr Lynch. Of course your sister can marry whom she pleases, and when she pleases, and neither you nor any one else can prevent her; but still—”
“Then what the devil’s the use of my paying you to come here and tell me that?”
“That’s your affair: I didn’t come without being sent for. But I was going to tell you that, though we can’t prevent her from marrying if she pleases, we may make her afraid to do so. You had better write her a kind, affectionate note, regretting what has taken place between you, and promising to give her no molestation of any kind, if she will return to her own house,—and keep a copy of this letter. Then I will see Moylan; and, if I can do anything with him, it will be necessary that you should also see him. You could come over to Tuam, and meet him in my office; and then I will try and force an entrance into the widow’s castle, and, if possible, see your sister, and humbug the ould woman into a belief that she has laid herself open to criminal indictment. We might even go so far as to have notices served on them; but, if they snap their fingers at us, we can do nothing further. My advice in that case would be, that you should make the best terms in your power with Martin Kelly.”
“And let the whole thing go! I’d sooner—Why, Daly, I believe you’re as bad as Blake! You’re afraid of these huxtering thieves!”
“If you go on in that way, Mr Lynch, you’ll get no professional gentleman to act with you. I give you my best advice; it you don’t like it, you needn’t follow it; but you won’t get a solicitor in Connaught to do better for you than what I’m proposing.”
“Confusion!” muttered Barry, and he struck the hot turf in the grate a desperate blow with the tongs which he had in his hands, and sent the sparks and bits of fire flying about the hearth.