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HOME > Short Stories > Light O' The Morning > CHAPTER XV. — TWO LETTERS.
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 “DEAR MOTHER [wrote Nora O'Shanaghgan later on that same morning]: I arrived safely yesterday. Uncle George met me at Holyhead, and was very kind indeed. I had a comfortable journey up to town, and Uncle George saw that I wanted for nothing. When we got to London we drove across the town to another station, called Waterloo, and took a train on here. A carriage met us at the station with a pair of beautiful gray horses. They were not as handsome as Black Bess, but they were very beautiful; and we arrived here between eight and nine o'clock. This is just the sort of place you would like, mother; such thick carpets on the stairs, and such large, spacious, splendidly furnished rooms; and Aunt Grace has meals to the minute; and they have lots and lots of servants; and my bedroom—oh, mother! I think you would revel in my bedroom. It has such a terribly thick carpet on the floor—I mean it has a thick carpet on the floor; and there is a view from the window, the sort you have so often described to me—great big trees, and a lawn like velvet, and four or five tennis-courts, and a shrubbery with all the trees cut so exact and round and proper, and a peep of the River Thames just beyond. My cousins keep a boat on the river, and they often go out in the summer evenings. They are going to take me for a row on Saturday, when the girls have a holiday.  
“I saw Terence almost immediately after I arrived. He looked just as you would like to see him, so handsome in his evening dress. He was a little stiff—at least, I mean he was very correct in his manner. We had supper when we arrived. I was awfully hungry, but I did not like to eat too much, for Terence seemed so correct—nice in his manner, I mean—and everything was just as you have described things when you were young. There are two girls, my cousins—Linda, a very pretty girl, fair, and so very neatly dressed; and Molly, who is not the least like the others. You would not like Molly; she is rather rough; but of course I must not complain of her. I have been sitting with Aunt Grace all the morning, until I could bear it no longer—I mean, until I got a little stiff in my legs, and then I had a run in the garden. Now I am writing this letter in Aunt Grace's morning-room, and if I look round I shall see her back.
“Good-by, dear mother. I will write again in a day or two.—Your affectionate daughter,
“There,” said Nora, under her breath, “that's done. Now for daddy.”
She took out another sheet of paper, and began to scribble rapidly.
“Darling, darling, love of my heart! Daddy, daddy, oh! but it's I that miss you. I am writing to you here in this could, could country. Oh, daddy, if I could run to you now, wouldn't I? What are you doing without your Light o' the Morning? I am pent up, daddy, and I don't think I can stand it much longer. It's but a tiny visit I'll pay, and then I'll come back again to the mountains and the sea, and the old, old house, and the dear, darling dad. Keep up your heart, daddy; you'll soon have Light o' the Morning home. Oh! it's so proper, and I'm wrapped up in silk chains; they are surrounding me everywhere, and I can't quite bear it. Aunt Grace is sitting here; I am writing in her morning-room. Oh! if I could, wouldn't I scream, or shout, or do something awfully wicked; but I must not, for it is the English way. They have got the wild bird Nora into the English cage; and, darling dad asthore, it's her heart that will be broke if she stays here long. There's one comfort I have—or, bedad! I don't think I could bear it—and that's Molly. She's a bit of a romp and a bit of a scamp, and she has a daring spirit of her own, and she hates the conventionalities, and she would like to be Irish too. She can't, poor colleen; but she is nice and worth knowing, and she'll just keep my heart from being broke entirely.
“How are they all at home? Give them lashins and lavins of love from Nora. Tell them it's soon I'll be back with them. You go round and give a message to each and all; and don't forget Hannah Croneen, and little Mike, and Bridget Murphy, and Squire Murphy, and the rest—all and every one who remembers Nora O'Shanaghgan. Tell them it's her heart is imprisoned till she gets back to them; and she would rather have one bit of her own native soil than all the gold in the whole of England. I declare it's rough and wild I am getting, and my heart is bleeding. I have written a correct letter to mother, and given her the news; but I am telling you a bit of my true, true heart. Send for me if you miss me too much, and I'll fly back to you. Oh! it's chains wouldn't keep me, for go I must if this state of things continues much longer.—Your
The two letters were written, the last one relieving Nora's feelings not a little. She put them into separate envelopes and stamped them.
Mrs. Hartrick rose, went over to her desk, and saw Nora's letters.
“Oh, you have written to your parents,” she said. “Quite right, my dear. But why put them into separate envelopes? They could go nicely in one. That, really, is willful waste, Nora, which we in England never permit.”
“Oh, please, don't change them, Aunt Grace,” said Nora, as Mrs. Hartrick took the two letters up and paused before opening one of the envelopes. “Please, please, let them go as they are. It's my own stamp,” she continued, losing all sense of grammar in her excitement.
“Well, my dear, just as you please. There, don't excite yourself, Nora. I only suggested that, when one stamp would do, it was rather wasteful to spend two.”
“Oh, daddy does like to get his own letters to his own self,” said Nora.
“Your father, you mean. You don't, surely, call him by the vulgar word daddy?”
“Bedad! but I do,” answered Nora.
Mrs. Hartrick turned and gave her niece a frozen glance. Presently she laid her hand on the girl's shoulder.
“I don't want to complain or to lecture you,” she said; “but that expression must not pass your lips again while you are here.”
“It shan't. I am ever so sorry,” said the girl.
“I think you are, dear; and how flushed your cheeks are! You seem quite tired. Now, go upstairs and wash your hands; the luncheon-gong will ring in five minutes, and we must be punctual at meals.”
Nora slowly left the room.
“Oh! but it's like lead my heart is,” she said to herself.
The day passed very dismally for the wild Irish girl. After lunch she and her aunt had a long and proper drive. They drove through lovely country; but Nora was feeling even a little bit cross, and could not see the beauties of the perfectly tilled landscape, of the orderly fields, of the lovely hedgerows.
“It is too tidy,” she said once in a ch............
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