Martin assured her again, in a whisper, that anything and everything they could do for her was only a pleasure.
“Don’t mind whispering,” said Anty; “spake out; your voice won’t hurt me. I love to hear your voices, they’re all so kind and good. But Martin, I’ve business you must do for me, and that at once, for I feel within me that I’ll soon be gone from this.”
“We hope not, Anty; but it’s all with God now—isn’t it? No one knows that betther than yourself.”
“Oh yes, I do know that; and I feel it is His pleasure that it should be so, and I don’t fear to die. A few weeks back the thoughts of death, when they came upon me, nearly killed me; but that feeling’s all gone now.”
Martin did not know what answer to make; he again told her he hoped she would soon get better. It is a difficult task to talk properly to a dying person about death, and Martin felt that he was quite incompetent to do so.
“But,” she continued, after a little, “there’s still much that I want to do,—that I ought to do. In the first place, I must make my will.”
Martin was again puzzled. This was another subject on which he felt himself equally unwilling to speak; he could not advise her not to make one; and he certainly would not advise her to do so.
“Your will, Anty?—there’s time enough for that; you’ll be sthronger you know, in a day or two. Doctor Colligan says so—and then we’ll talk about it.”
“I hope there is time enough, Martin; but there isn’t more than enough; it’s not much that I’ll have to say—”
“Were you spaking to Barry about it this morning?”
“Oh, I was. I told him what I’d do: he’ll have the property now, mostly all as one as av the ould man had left it to him. It would have been betther so, eh Martin?” Anty never doubted her lover’s disinterestedness; at this moment she suspected him of no dirty longing after her money, and she did him only justice. When he came into her room he had no thoughts of inheriting anything from her. Had he been sure that by asking he could have induced her to make a will in his favour, he would not have done so. But still his heart sunk a little within him when he heard her declare that she was going to leave everything back to her brother. It was, however, only for a moment; he remembered his honest determination firmly and resolutely to protect their joint property against any of her brother’s attempts, should he ever marry her; but in no degree to strive or even hanker after it, unless it became his own in a fair, straightforward manner.
“Well, Anty; I think you’re right,” said he. “But wouldn’t it all go to Barry, nathurally, without your bothering yourself about a will, and you so wake.”
“In course it would, at laist I suppose so; but Martin,” and she smiled faintly as she looked up into his face, “I want the two dear, dear girls, and I want yourself to have some little thing to remember me by; and your dear kind mother,—she doesn’t want money, but if I ask her to take a few of the silver things in the house, I’m sure she’ll keep them for my sake. Oh, Martin! I do love you all so very—so very much!” and the warm tears streamed down her cheeks.