Puslapio vaizdai

Incredibly woebegone and lonesome the house would have looked even to one for whom it contained no memories; all the more because in its utter dereliction it looked so durable. Some of the stucco had fallen off the walls of the two wings; thick flakes of it lay on the discoloured roof of the veranda, and thick flakes of it could be seen lying in the grass below. Otherwise, there were few signs of actual decay. The sash-winThe sash-window and the French window of each wing were shuttered, and, from where I was standing, the cream-coloured paint of those shutters behind the glass looked almost fresh. The latticed windows between had all been boarded up from

within. The house was not to be let perish soon.

I did not want to go nearer to it; yet I did go nearer, step by step, across the wilderness, right up to the edge of the veranda itself, and within a yard of the front-door.

I stood looking at that door. I had never noticed it in the old days, for then it had always stood open. But it asserted itself now, master of the threshold.

It was a narrow door-narrow even for its height, which did not exceed mine by more than two inches or so; a door that even when it was freshly painted must have looked mean. How much


"He stayed there, 'trying,' as he said in a grotesque and heartrending phrase,

'to finish a novel'

meaner now, with its paint all faded and mottled, cracked and blistered! It had no knocker, not even a slit for letters. All that it had was a large-ish key-hole. On this my eyes rested; and presently I moved to it, stooped down to it, peered through it. I had a glimpse of darkness impenetrable.

Strange it seemed to me, as I stood back, that there the Room was, the remembered Room itself, separated from me by nothing but this unremembered door .. and a quarter of a century, yes. I saw it all, in my mind's eye, just as it had been: the way the sunlight came into it through this same doorway and through the lattices of these same four windows; the way the little bit of a staircase came down into it, so crookedly yet so confidently; and how uneven the tiled floor was, and how low the rafters were, and how littered the whole place was with books brought in from his den by William, and how bright with flowers brought in by Mary from her garden. The rafters, the stairs, the tiles, were still existing, changeless in despite of cobwebs and dust and darkness, all quite changeless on the other side of the door, so near to me. I wondered how I should feel if by some enchantment the door slowly turned on its hinges, letting in light. I should not enter, I felt, not even look, so much must I hate to see those inner things lasting when all that had given to them a meaning was gone from them, taken away from them, finally. And yet, why blame them for their survival? And how know that nothing of the past ever came to them, revisiting, hovering? Something-sometimes-perhaps? One knew so little. How not be tender to what, as it seemed to me, perhaps the dead loved?

So strong in me now was the wish to see again all those things, to touch them and, as it were, commune with them, and so queerly may the mind be wrought upon in a solitude among memories, that there were moments when I almost expected that the door would obey my

will. I was recalled to a clearer sense of reality by something which I had not before noticed. In the door-post to the right was a small knob of rusty ironmocking reminder that to gain admission to a house one does not "will" the door: one rings the bell-unless it is rusty and has quite obviously no one to answer it; in which case one goes away. Yet I did not go away. The movement that I made, in despite of myself, was towards the knob itself. But, I hesitated, suppose I did what I half meant to do, and there were no sound. That would be ghastly. And surely there would be no sound. And if sound there were, would n't that be worse still? My hand drew back, wavered, suddenly closed on the knob. I heard the scrape of the wireand then, from somewhere within the heart of the shut house, a tinkle.

It had been the weakest, the puniest of noises. It had been no more than is a fledgling's first attempt at a twitter. But I was not judging it by its volume. Deafening peals from steeples had meant less to me than that one single note breaking the silence-in there. In there, in the dark, the bell that had answered me was still quivering, I supposed, on its wire. But there was no one to answer it, no footstep to come hither from those recesses, making prints in the dust. Well, I could answer it; and again my hand closed on the knob, unhesitatingly this time, pulling further. That was my answer; and the rejoinder to it was more than I had thought to hear a whole quick sequence of notes, faint but clear, playful, yet poignantly sad, like a trill of laughter echoing out of the past, or even merely out of this neighbouring darkness. It was so like something I had known, so recognisable and oh, recognising, that I was lost in wonder.

And long must I have remained standing at that door, for I heard the sound often, often. often, often. I must have rung again and again, tenaciously, vehemently, in my folly

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as is not unusual, dwarfs the latter with

HEN the resources of Kil- its spire and eclipses it in internal deco

lickmoyler fail me, or when Kathleen is more than usually insistent in her demands for a joint of beef instead of Conran's inevitable wether mutton, I say, "I am going into Tyrrellstown."

This statement is a signal for many demands upon my memory and my pocket. Jim Kane reminds me not to "firget thim two-inch bolts for the door o' the hins'-roost," and, "If ye can't git two-inch, ye may chance a threeinch." And then, "There s a sucker wantin' on the pump, and a peck of Arran Chiefs for seed." Mary Linsella, through the channel of her superior officer, Mrs. Scanlan, the cook, would be glad if I'd look in at Lynch's for a watch which she has left for a "half-clean." And "There's soda wantin' for baking, and a shovel, and muslin for straining the cream." I am really dependent upon Tyrrellstown, and I am only one of the many.

Carts come jogging in from the Ridge and the Butts beyond, from the slopes of Shodore, and from the valley of the Urglin as far as Ballytarsna, with loads of chickens and butter, only to return burdened with meal, sea-coal, and the like.

It is just an ordinary country town, the central hub upon which revolve those who live along the many roads that branch from it like the spokes of a wheel. There is a fine Catholic church, and a big Protestant one. The former,

rations. There are four streets which meet in a market-square, where a few women sell windfall apples, and herrings when fish is cheap.

The railway station lies just outside the town, approached by an avenue planted with trees. The post-office rivals the Bank of Ireland for pride of place, and outside each a cripple is generally sitting in hope of alms. The shops are near the market-place, and the streets which meet there taper off in each direction into cabins; while here and there a modest window displays clay pipes, and sugar-sticks in tall glass bottles. These are relieved by piles of match-boxes, large and square, inconvenient for the pocket. They are always decorated with a picture of a couchant tiger or a portrait of General McMahon.

Before Sir John Tyrrell, an English settler, received a grant of the land which stretches beside the river, the place was called "Minnebeg"-the "village in the valley." Those days are forgotten now, but some people have revived the name, and of late the streets have had their titles inscribed in Gaelic, and here and there a shopkeeper has displayed his name and trade in mysterious symbols to be read only by the shining lights of the National School.

In the main street, near the square, stands Miss Doolan's "Shrine of Fashion," with a pretentious shop front where the latest models of blouses, hats, and golf jerseys are displayed. Miss

Doolan's advertisements fill columns in "The Moderator."

Miss Doolan has returned from the markets of the world, bringing with her a choice assortment of drapery, hosiery, and footwear for all sexes. [Miss Doolan is nothing if not comprehensive.] What is it that you require? Call, and you will see it at Miss Doolan's. This is the house for corderoys, shirts, and all classes of lingerie. Do you want glove-fitting corsets? You will find the only genuine models at Miss Doolan's. Whatever you may need, call and inspect it at Miss Doolan's.

The exhortation concludes with a statement that in a parlor behind the shop an itinerant "Tooth Expert" will extract teeth painlessly, and without gas, on Thursdays from two till halfpast four, supplying, for a most modest fee, a new set no less elegant than Miss Doolan's other creations.


I owe Miss Doolan many debts. has supplied me for my own use with "a trouser" of gray flannel which rivals the tailor-made article, and when I have been short of white gloves for a dance, or even of a tall hat for a wedding, she has more than once helped me out of the difficulty. I know that I ought not to regret her civilizing efforts. I am old-fashioned and should move, like others, with the times. Kathleen has done so, and assures me that Miss Doolan does not exaggerate her resources.

Just up the street is "Kennedy's," with which I myself am better acquainted. Its specialities are groceries and. hardware, and it is unpretentious, but in my experience I know of little that Kennedy cannot produce. He has a bakery, and in one window is set a row of "barmbracks," amid oranges and bacon and packets of corn-flour and tea. The whole is garnished with festoons of sticky fly-papers, which give place at Christmas to wreaths of holly. The farther window is replete with every variety of hardware, from lamps and tin buckets to motor-horns, photographframes, and tooth-brushes. On the pavement outside there are usually a box churn, some sacks of seed potatoes, and the latest thing in agricultural implements.

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there is a bar with wooden benches, for Kennedy's is also a public house.

I have often been forced to listen to other patrons making their purchases from Lanigan, the assistant, while Kennedy has been diving into recesses to find me some picture-wire or cartridges. "What would be the price o' thim sprongs, Mr. Lanigan?"

"Well, now, what would ye say yerself, Mr. Hughes?"

"Fifteen pence I 'd be thinking." "Indeed, Mr. Hughes, and I suppose they could be worth all that."

"Maybe ye would leave me couple for

The inside of the shop, which is small, less, Mr. Lanigan?"

"Ye 'd not find the like o' them in Dublin, let alone anywhere else. They're just a few I have over, and I'll leave them to you, Mr. Hughes, at what they cost and no more: half a crown apiece, and its double I should be lookin' for."

Or Mrs. Bourke is out of reins for her ass-six yards in length of halfpenny cord.

"What ye 're after showing me is no more than twine, Mr. Lanigan. 'T would n't hould a throut, let alone an ass."

"There 's better at fi'pence, ma'am; but these would wear ye well."

"I'd chance the threepenny ones if ye 'd give me another bit in. I'd often be wantin' a bit of cord."

Kennedy has a brain for possibilities and what is out of the common.

When I wanted a screw-driver, he scornfully rejected my choice of the ordinary kind, and pressed upon me the advantages of an instrument which contained in a hollow handle not only a screw-driver, but files, brad-awls, and a small saw.

"Sure, a gintleman would often want to do something better than turn a

screw, and this one has a whole seraglio of fittin's to meet every convanience."

He also has a keen eye for business. I had always a desire to inclose the back lawn with a patent unbreakable fence, but it took me a long time to come up to the scratch, and I said I could not afford it. Kennedy, however, persisted.

"Indeed, ye 'd hardly say that, sir. If ye 'll pardon the liberty, I saw yer uncle's will in the paper, and I read it most attentively." Kennedy's memory is a long one, and in the end he prevailed.

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At certain hours-that is, when the morning mail arrives, and when it leaves again at night-the railway station becomes the center of importance. That importance used to be spread over a long part of the day, for the mails were often late. Jack McCabe, who has been guard almost since the line was opened, has always looked upon it as a point of honor to delay the "express,' as required, if any one of position was known to be traveling. The station-master's tea took "a great second water," and it was always "wetted" again when McCabe was thus detained. But for better or for worse the times are changing. Anglicizing efforts have spread to the railway, and we have a new general manager imported from an English line. The result may be summarized in the words of McCabe, "Surely to goodness he has the whole place destroyed by reason of the punctuality of the trains."

The last Thursday in every month is the fair of Tyrrellstown. The gates of the "bawnogue," that plot of green grass surrounded by a low stone wall which abuts on the station-yard, are thrown open. Bunches of cattle that have traveled all night throng in, and the drovers, trained by long practice, keep them from getting mixed. There they stand from daybreak till the sun rises and the mists disperse. Then

either the marks on their rumps show that they are sold, or their owners, dissatisfied with the bidding, drive them home once more.

In the town itself the streets are lined with carts fitted with creels. The stench of pigs

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