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HOME > Short Stories > Light O' The Morning > CHAPTER XVII. — TWO DESCRIPTIONS.
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 Some of Nora's words must have sunk into Mrs. Hartrick's heart, for, rather to Molly's own astonishment, she was allowed to dress nicely for dinner, and to come down. Her somewhat heavy, dark face did not look to the best advantage. She wore a dress which did not suit her; her hair was awkwardly arranged; there was a scowl on her brow. She felt so sore and cross, after what she considered her brave efforts to be good during the morning, that she would almost rather have stayed up in her room. But Nora would not hear of that. Nora had rushed into Molly's room, and had begged her, for her sake, to come downstairs. Nora was looking quite charming in that pretty white frock which Mrs. O'Shanaghgan had purchased for her in Dublin. Her softly rounded figure, her dazzlingly fair complexion, were seen now for the first time to the best advantage. Her thick black hair was coiled up becomingly on her graceful little head, and, with a bunch of sweet peas at her belt, there could scarcely have been seen a prettier maiden. When she appeared in the drawing room, even Terence was forced to admit that he had seldom seen a more lovely girl than his sister. He went up to her and began to take notice of her.  
“I am sorry I was obliged to be out all day. I am studying the different museums very exhaustively,” said Terence in that measured tone of his which drove poor Nora nearly wild. She replied to him somewhat pertly, and he retired once more into his shell.
“Pretty as my sister is,” he soliloquized, “she really is such an ignorant girl that few fellows would care to speak to her. It is a sad pity.”
Terence, the last hope of the house of O'Shanaghgan, was heard to sigh profoundly. His aunt, Mrs. Hartrick, and his cousin Linda would, doubtless, sympathize with him.
“Dinner was announced, and the meal went off very well. Molly was absolutely silent; Nora, taking her cue from her, hardly spoke; and Linda, Terence, and Mrs. Hartrick had it all their own way. But just as dessert was placed on the table, Mr. Hartrick looked at Nora and motioned to her to change seats and to come to one close to him.
“Come now,” he said, “we should like to hear your account of Castle O'Shanaghgan. Terence has told us all about it; but we should like to hear your version.”
“And a most lovely place it must be,” said Mrs. Hartrick from the other end of the table. “Your description, Terence, makes me quite long to see it; and if it were not that I am honestly very much afraid of the Irish peasantry, I should be glad to go there during the summer. But those terrible creatures, with their shillalahs, and their natural aptitude for firing on you from behind a hedge, are quite too fearful to contemplate. I could not run the risk of assassination from any of them. They seem to have a natural hatred for the English and—why, what is the matter, Nora?”
“Only it's not true,” said Nora, her eyes flashing. “They are not a bit like that; they are the most warmhearted people in the whole world. Terence, have you been telling lies about your country? If you have, I am downright ashamed of you.”
“But I have not. I don't know what you mean,” answered Terence.
“Oh, come, come, Nora!” said her uncle, patting her arm gently; but Nora's eyes blazed with fire.
“It's not a bit true,” she continued. “How can Aunt Grace think of that? The poor things have been driven to desperation, because—because their hearts have been trampled on.”
“For instance,” said Terence in a mocking voice, which fell like ice upon poor Nora's hot, indignant nature—“for instance, Andy Neil—he's a nice specimen, is he not?”
“Oh,” said Nora, “he—he is the exception. Don't talk of him, please.”
“That's just it,” said Terence, laughing. “Nora wants to give us all the sweets, and to conceal all the bitters. Now, I am honest, whatever I am.”
“Oh, are you?” said Nora, in indignation. “I should like to know,” she continued, “what kind of place you have represented Castle O'Shanaghgan to be.”
“I don't know why I should be obliged to answer to you for what I say, Nora,” cried her brother.
“You describe it now, Nora. We will hear your description,” said her uncle.
Nora sat quite still for a moment; then she raised her very dark-blue eyes.
“Do you really want me to tell you about O'Shanaghgan?” she said slowly.
“Certainly, my dear.”
“Certainly, Nora. I am sure you can describe things very well,” said her aunt, in an encouraging voice, from the other end of the table.
“Then I will tell you,” said Nora. She paused for a moment, then............
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