And so, the widow got quite eloquent on the glories of the wedding, and the enormities of her son’s future brother-in-law, who had, she assured Martin, come down and abused her horribly, in her own shop, before all the town, because she allowed Anty to stay in the house. She then proceeded to the consequences of the marriage, and expressed her hope that when Martin got all that ready money he would “do something for his poor sisthers—for Heaven knew they war like to be bad enough off, for all she’d be able to do for them!” From this she got to Martin’s own future mode of life, suggesting a “small snug cottage on the farm, just big enough for them two, and, may-be, a slip of a girl servant, and not to be taring and tatthering away, as av’ money had no eend; and, afther all,” she added, “there war nothing like industhry; and who know’d whether that born villain, Barry, mightn’t yet get sich a hoult of the money, that there’d be no getting it out of his fist?” and she then depicted, in most pathetic language, what would be the misery of herself and all the Kellys if Martin, flushed with his prosperity, were to give up the farm at Toneroe, and afterwards find that he had been robbed of his expected property, and that he had no support for himself and his young bride.
On this subject Martin considerably comforted her by assuring her that he had no thoughts of abandoning Toneroe, although he did not go so far as to acquiesce in the very small cottage; and he moreover expressed his thorough confidence that he would neither be led himself, nor lead Anty, into the imprudence of a marriage, until he had well satisfied himself that the property was safe.
The widow was well pleased to find, from Martin’s prudent resolves, that he was her own son, and that she needn’t blush for him; and then they parted, she to her shop, and he to his dinner: not however, before he had promised her to give up all ideas of a clandestine marriage, and to permit himself to be united to his wife in the face of day, as became a Kelly.
The evening passed over quietly and snugly at the inn. Martin had not much difficulty in persuading his three companions to take a glass of punch each out of his tumbler, and less in getting them to take a second, and, before they went to bed, he and Anty were again intimate. And, as he was sitting next her for a couple of hours on the little sofa opposite the fire, it is more than probable that he got his arm round her waist—a comfortable position, which seemed in no way to shock the decorum of either Meg or Jane.