The news, however, quickly reached the kitchen and its lazy crowd; and the inn door and its constant loungers; and was readily and gladly credited in both places.
Crone after crone, and cripple after cripple, hurried into the shop, to congratulate the angry widow on “masther Martin’s luck; and warn’t he worthy of it, the handsome jewel—and wouldn’t he look the gintleman, every inch of him?” and Sally expatiated greatly on it in the kitchen, and drank both their healths in an extra pot of tea, and Kate grinned her delight, and Jack the ostler, who took care of Martin’s horse, boasted loudly of it in the street, declaring that “it was a good thing enough for Anty Lynch, with all her money, to get a husband at all out of the Kellys, for the divil a know any one knowed in the counthry where the Lynchs come from; but every one knowed who the Kellys wor—and Martin wasn’t that far from the lord himself.”
There was great commotion, during the whole day, at the inn. Some said Martin had gone to town to buy furniture; others, that he had done so to prove the will. One suggested that he’d surely have to fight Barry, and another prayed that “if he did, he might kill the blackguard, and have all the fortin to himself, out and out, God bless him!”
The great news was not long before it reached the ears of one not disposed to receive the information with much satisfaction, and this was Barry Lynch, the proposed bride’s amiable brother. The medium through which he first heard it was not one likely to add to his good humour. Jacky, the fool, had for many years been attached to the Kelly’s Court family; that is to say, he had attached himself to it, by getting his food in the kitchen, and calling himself the lord’s fool. But, latterly, he had quarrelled with Kelly’s Court, and had insisted on being Sim Lynch’s fool, much to the chagrin of that old man; and, since his death, he had nearly maddened Barry by following him through the street, and being continually found at the house-door when he went out. Jack’s attendance was certainly dictated by affection rather than any mercenary views, for he never got a scrap out of the Dunmore House kitchen, or a halfpenny from his new patron. But still, he was Barry’s fool; and, like other fools, a desperate annoyance to his master.
On the day in question, as young Mr. Lynch was riding out of the gate, about three in the afternoon, there, as usual, was Jack.
“Now yer honour, Mr. Barry, darling, shure you won’t forget Jacky to-day. You’ll not forget your own fool, Mr. Barry?”
Barry did not condescend to answer this customary appeal, but only looked at the poor ragged fellow as though he’d like to flog the life out of him.
“Shure your honour, Mr. Barry, isn’t this the time then to open yer honour’s hand, when Miss Anty, God bless her, is afther making sich a great match for the family?—Glory be to God!”