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A very small townland is Tusa-h Erin; the smallest in Ireland, it is said. And a very strange name on itTusa-h Erin, the Beginning of Ireland. Why it is so called, none knows. Possibly because some Highlanders named it this on landing there. Probably because it was a division between the Scottish and Irish clans. So it was called when the Bruce fled to Ireland. So it is called to this day.
Twenty acres or so are in it, a windand sea-lashed little estate, a great gray house, and a garden of yew-trees. For ten years it had been untenanted until a Miss O'Malley had bought it, and opened the great oak doors, and let the sea-air blow through the windows of it, and clipped the garden of the yews. The county people knew little of her except that she had a great reserve. To the glensmen she was Bean Tusig Erin, the Woman of Tusa-h Erin.
an old woman, your Honor, what with the bitter work and the hard ways. But being what she is, she is a young woman, your Honor. I heard tell she said she was thirty-four."
"Is she good-looking?"
"Well, now, your Honor, that would surely be a hard thing to say. A great dark face she has on her, and her head high, the like of a grand horse. Barring her eyes, you might call her a fine woman."
"What's wrong with her eyes?" "Hard eyes she has, your Honor, hating eyes. She's always looking at you to see if it is an enemy is in it. A queer woman, your Honor; the like of her was never known."
"What kind of person is she?" Shane And you never heard of her! Good asked. God! how abominably ignorant you merchant marine men are!"
"A strange woman is in it, your Honor, a strange and dark woman."
"An old lady?"
please tell me, sir, why does she hate
"If she was one of us, she would be England so much?"
of feeling, I suppose
"Only that it's straight lines on the corners of stones, sir," Shane Campbell had replied.
"Well, now, I think I've discovered something important, most terribly important You may have heard of the Babylonian cuneiform script " and the old gentleman was
off full gallop on his hobby
Eleven on a hot June morning, and the little town was crowded, like some old-time immigrant ship. Women in plaid shawls and frilled caps, men in somber black as befitted a monthly occasion. Squawking of ducks and hens, trudging of donkeys, creaking of carts, unbelievably stubborn bullocks and heifers being whacked by ash plants, colts frisking. Girls with baskets of eggs and butter; great carts of hay and straw. Apple-women with bonnets of cabbage-leaves against the sun. Herring-men bawling like
"Fowler, do you know Miss O'- auctioneers. Squealing of young pigs.
Malley of Tusa-h Erin?"
"I do, poor lady!"
"Why poor lady?"
An old clothes-dealer hoarse with effort. A ballad-singer split the air with an English translation of Bean an Thir Ruaidh, "The Red-haired Man's Wife.”
"Ye Muses Nine,
Combine, and lend me your aid, Until I raise
the praise of a beautiful maid-" The crash of a drover driving home a bargain:
"Hold out your hand now, till I be after making you an offer. Seven pound ten, now. Hell to my soul if I give you another ha'penny! Wait now. I'll make it seven pound fifteen."
"Is it insulting the fine decent beast you are?"
"Eight pounds five, and ten shillings back for a luck-penny?"
"Is it crazy you 've gone all of a sudden, dealing man? If the gentle creature was in Dublin town, sure, they 'd be hanging blue ribbons around her neck until she wilted with the weight of them."
"It 's hanging their hats on the bones of her they 'd be, and them sticking out the like of branches from a bush."
"Yerra Jasus! Do you hear the man, and her round as a bottle from the fine filling feeding! You could walk your shin-bones off to the knee, and you'd not find a cow as has had the treatment of this cow. Let you be on your way now-"
"Look, honest man. Put out your hand, and wait till I spit on my fist-"
Through the doors of Michael Doyle's public house a young farmer walked uncertainly. He gently swung a woman's woolen stocking in his
right hand, and in the foot of the stocking was a large round stone:
"I am young Packy McGee of Ballymoyle," he announced, "the son of old Packy McGee of Ballymoyle, a great man in his day, but never the equal of young Packy McGee. I have gone through Scotland and Ireland, Wales, and the harvest fields of England, and I have never yet found the equal for murder and riot of young Packy McGee. I am young Packy McGee. I am young Packy McGee of Ballymoyle, and I don't care who knows it. Is there any decent man in this fair that considers himself the equal of young Packy McGee?"
A knot of older people had gathered around him, white-headed farmers, bent turf-cutters of the glens, a girlchild with eyes like saucers. A priest The crude English of the ballad faded out, until there was noting but disheveled agony rhythm . . a wail
"Fare you well, Enniskillen, fare you well stopped to listen
man with the Irish bagpipes, bellows Ta an Teamhais na fear agas feach an
strapped to arm, playing "The Birds among the Trees," "The Swallow-tail Coat," "The Green Fields of America" Small boys regarding
Traoi mor ta!
'S na Sasonaigh fleir, do b'fheidir go bhfaig n dis bas!"
A voice spoke excitedly, imperiously to Shane:
"What is he saying? Do you know Gaelic?"
"I'm afraid I 've forgotten my Gaelic, but I know this song."
"Then what is it?
I must know."
Please tell me.
As in a story from some old unsubtle book, in passing the gates of Tusa-h Erin he had gone into another world, a grave and courteous world, not antique,-that was not the
"The world conquers them all. The word, but just older change of tempo
wind whirls like dust.
Dormant, the Sleeping Wood of the
But the atmosphere?
"I knew it as a boy. My father earl in the rath of Mullaghmost, and was a Gaelic poet."
"Then you are Shane Campbell." "And you are the Woman of Tusa-h Erin!"
"You know Tusa-h Erin?”
"I know every blade of grass in the glens."
the story of it
"If you are ever near Tusa-h Erin, And the soldier's head rose, and, come and see me."
And old men said for a surety to him, going over to the balladmonger. that had the farmer drawn the blade