“Well, Nelly,” said the prophetic Sally, boding evil in her anger—for, considering how long she had been in the family, she had thought herself entitled to hear Anty’s ravings; “mind, I tell you, good won’t come of this. The Virgin prothect us from all harum!—it niver war lucky to have sthrangers dying in the house.”
“But shure Miss Anty’s no stranger.”
“Faix thin, her words must be sthrange enough when the likes o’ me wouldn’t be let hear ’em. Not but what I did hear, as how could I help it? There’ll be no good come of it. Who’s to be axed to the wake, I’d like to know.”
“Axed to the wake, is it? Why, shure, won’t there be rashions of ating and lashings of dhrinking? The misthress isn’t the woman to spare, and sich a frind as Miss Anty dead in the house. Let ’em ax whom they like.”
“You’re a fool, Nelly—Ax whom they like!—that’s asy said. Is they to ax Barry Lynch, or is they to let it alone, and put the sisther into the sod without a word said to him about it? God be betwixt us and all evil”—and she took a long pull at the slop-bowl; and, as the liquid flowed down her throat, she gradually threw back her head till the top of her mop cap was flattened against the side of the wide fire-place, and the bowl was turned bottom upwards, so that the half-melted brown sugar might trickle into her mouth. She then gave a long sigh, and repeated that difficult question—“Who is they to ax to the wake?”
It was too much for Nelly to answer: she re-echoed the sigh, and more closely embraced the candlestick.
“Besides, Nelly, who’ll have the money when she’s gone?—and she’s nigh that already, the Blessed Virgin guide and prothect her. Who’ll get all her money?”
“Why; won’t Mr Martin? Sure, an’t they as good as man and wife—all as one?”
“That’s it; they’ll be fighting and tearing, and tatthering about that money, the two young men will, you’ll see. There’ll be lawyering, an’ magisthrate’s work—an’ factions—an’ fighthins at fairs; an’ thin, as in course the Lynches can’t hould their own agin the Kellys, there’ll be undherhand blows, an’ blood, an’ murdher!—you’ll see else.”
“Glory be to God,” involuntarily prayed Nelly, at the thoughts suggested by Sally’s powerful eloquence.
“There will, I tell ye,” continued Sally, again draining the tea-pot into the bowl. “Sorrow a lie I’m telling you;” and then, in a low whisper across the fire, “didn’t I see jist now Miss Anty ketch a hould of Misther Martin, as though she’d niver let him go agin, and bid him for dear mercy’s sake have a care of Barry Lynch?—Shure I knowed what that meant. And thin, didn’t he thry and do for herself with his own hands? Didn’t Biddy say she’d swear she heard him say he’d do it?—and av he wouldn’t boggle about his own sisther, it’s little he’d mind what he’d do to an out an out inemy like Misther Martin.”
“Warn’t that a knock at the hall-door, Sally?”