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A Tale of Irish Life
Author: Samuel Lover
Release Date: December, 2004 [EBook #7180]
[This file was first posted on March 22, 2003]
Character set encoding: ISO 8859-1
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HANDY ANDY, VOL. 2 ***
A Tale of Irish Life
IN TWO VOLUMES--VOLUME TWO
THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF SAMUEL LOVER (V. 4)
[Illustration: Tom Organ Loftus' Coldairian System]
Tom Organ Loftus' Coldairian System
Tom Connor's Cat
Andy's Cooking Extraordinary
Tom Organ Loftus and the Duke
A Crack Shot
The Party at Killarney
_Etched by W. H. W. Bicknell from drawings by Samuel Lover_
The night was pitch dark, and on rounding the adjacent corner no vehicle
could be seen; but a peculiar whistle from Dick was answered by the sound
of approaching wheels and the rapid footfalls of a horse, mingled with the
light rattle of a smart gig. On the vehicle coming up, Dick took his
little mare, that was blacker than the night, by the head, the apron of
the gig was thrown down, and out jumped a smart servant-boy.
"You have the horse ready, too, Billy?"
"Yis, sir," said Billy, touching his hat.
"Then follow, and keep up with me, remember."
"Come to her head, here," and he patted the little mare's neck as he spoke
with a caressing "whoa," which was answered by a low neigh of
satisfaction, while the impatient pawing of her fore foot showed the
animal's desire to start. "What an impatient little devil she is," said
Dick, as he mounted the gig; "I'll get in first, Murphy, as I'm going to
drive. Now up with you--hook on the apron--that's it--are you all right?"
Billy gave the little black mare her head, and away she went, at a
slapping pace, the fire from the road answering the rapid strokes of her
nimble feet. The servant then mounted a horse which was tied to a
neighbouring palisade, and had to gallop for it to come up with his
master, who was driving with a swiftness almost fearful, considering the
darkness of the night and the narrowness of the road he had to traverse,
for he was making the best of his course by cross-ways to an adjacent
roadside inn, where some non-resident electors were expected to arrive
that night by a coach from Dublin; for the county town had every nook and
cranny occupied, and this inn was the nearest point where they could get
Now don't suppose that they were electors whom Murphy and Dick in their
zeal for their party were going over to greet with hearty welcomes and
bring up to the poll the next day. By no means. They were the friends of
the opposite party, and it was with the design of retarding their
movements that this night's excursion was undertaken. These electors were
a batch of plain citizens from Dublin, whom the Scatterbrain interest had
induced to leave the peace and quiet of the city to tempt the wilds of the
country at that wildest of times--during a contested election; and a night
coach was freighted inside and out with the worthy cits, whose aggregate
voices would be of immense importance the next day; for the contest was
close, the county nearly polled out, and but two days more for the
struggle. Now, to intercept these plain unsuspecting men was the object of
Murphy, whose well-supplied information had discovered to him this plan of
the enemy, which he set about countermining. As they rattled over the
rough by-roads, many a laugh did the merry attorney and the untameable
Dick the Devil exchange, as the probable success of their scheme was
canvassed, and fresh expedients devised to meet the possible impediments
which might interrupt them. As they topped a hill Murphy pointed out to
his companion a moving light in the plain beneath.
"That's the coach, Dick--there are the lamps, we're just in time--spin
down the hill, my boy--let me get in as they're at supper, and 'faith
they'll want it, after coming off a coach such a night as this, to say
nothing of some of them being aldermen in expectancy perhaps, and of
course obliged to play trencher-men as often as they can, as a requisite
rehearsal for the parts they must hereafter fill."
In fifteen minutes more Dick pulled up before a small cabin within a
quarter of a mile of the inn, and the mounted servant tapped at the door,
which was immediately opened, and a peasant, advancing to the gig,
returned the civil salutation with which Dick greeted his approach.
"I wanted to be sure you were ready, Barny."
"Oh, do you think I'd fail you, Misther Dick, your honour?"
"I thought you might be asleep, Barny."
"Not when you bid me wake, sir; and there's a nice fire ready for you, and
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