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HOME > Short Stories > Light O' The Morning > CHAPTER XXVIII. — THE WILD IRISH.
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 The somewhat slow Irish train jogged along its way; it never put itself out, did that special train, starting when it pleased, and arriving when it chose at its destination. Its guard, Jerry by name, was of a like mind with itself; there was no hurry about Jerry; he took the world “aisy,” as he expressed it.  
“What's the good of fretting?” he used to say. “What can't be cured must be endured. I hurry no man's cattle; and my train, she goes when she likes, and I aint going to hurry her, not I.”
On one occasion Jerry was known to remark to a somewhat belated traveler:
“Why, then, miss, is it hurrying ye are to meet the train? Why, then, you can take your time.”
“Oh, Jerry!” said this anxious person, fixing her eyes on his face in great excitement, “I forgot a most important parcel at a shop half a mile away.”
“Run and fetch it, then, honey,” replied Jerry, “and I'll keep her a bit longer.”
This the lady accordingly did. When she returned, the heads of all the other angry passengers were out of the windows expostulating with Jerry as to the cause of the delay.
“Hurry up, miss,” he said then. He popped her into a compartment, and she, as he called the train, moved slowly out of the station.
At times, too, without the smallest provocation, Jerry would stop this special train because a little “pigeen” had got off one of the trucks and was running along the line. He and the porter shouted and raced after the animal, caught it, and brought it back to the train. On another occasion he calmly informed a rather important passenger, “Ye had best get out here, for she's bust.” “She” happened to be the engine.
Into this train now got English Molly and Irish Nora. Mr. Hartrick pronounced it quite the vilest service he had ever traveled by. He began to grumble the moment he got into the train.
“It crawls,” he said; “and it absolutely has the cheek to call itself an express.”
But Nora, with her head out of the window, was shouting to Jerry, who came toward her full of blessings, anxious to shake her purty white hand, and telling her that he was as glad as a shower of gould to have her back again in the old country.
At last, however, the slow, very slow journey came to an end; and just after sunset the party found themselves at the little wayside station. Here a sight met Nora's eyes which displeased her exceedingly. Instead of the old outside car which her father used to drive, with the shabby old retainer, whose livery had long ago seen its best days, there arrived a smart groom, in the newest of livery, with a cockade in his hat. He touched his hat respectfully to Mr. Hartrick, and gave a quick glance round at Nora and Molly.
“Is the brougham outside, Dennis?” was Mr. Hartrick's response.
“Yes, sir; it has been waiting for half an hour; the train is a bit late, as usual, sir.”
“You need not tell me that this train is ever in time,” said Mr. Hartrick. “Well, girls, come along; I told Dennis to meet us, and here we are.”
Molly thought nothing at all of the neat brougham, with its pair of spirited grays; she was accustomed to driving in the better-class of carriage all her life; but Nora turned first pale and then crimson. She got into the carriage, and sat back in a corner; tears were brimming to her eyes.
“This is the first. How am I to bear all the rest?” she said to herself.
Mr. Hartrick, who had hoped that Nora would be pleased with the brougham, with Dennis himself, with the whole very stylish get-up, was mortified at her silence, and, taking her hand, tried to draw her out.
“Well, little girl,” he said, “I hope you will like the improvements I have made in the Castle. I have done it all at your instigation, remember.”
“At my instigation?” cried Nora. “Oh, no, Uncle George, that you have not.”
He looked at her in some amazement, then closed his lips, and said nothing more. Molly longed to get her father alone, in order to explain Nora's peculiar conduct.
“It is difficult for an Englishman to understand her,” thought Molly. “I do, and I think her altogether charming; but father, who has gone to this enormous expense and trouble, will be put out if she does not show a little gratitude. I will tell her that she must; I will take the very first opportunity.”
And now they were turning in at the well-known gates. These gates were painted white, whereas they had been almost reduced to their native wood. The avenue was quite tidy, no weeds anywhere; but Nora almost refused to look out. One by one the familiar trees seemed to pass by her as she was bowled rapidly along in the new brougham, as if they were so many ghosts saying good-by. But then there was the roar—the real, real, grand roar—of the Atlantic in her ears. No amount of tidiness, nothing could ever alter that sound.
“Oh, hurrah for the sea!” she said. She flung down the window and popped out her head.
Mr. Hartrick nodded to Molly. “She will see a great deal more to delight her than just the old ocean,” he said.
Molly was silent. They arrived at the house; the butler was standing on the steps, a nice, stylish-looking Englishman, in neat livery. He came down, opened the carriage door, let down the steps, and offered his arm to Nora to alight; but she pushed past him, bounded up the steps, and the next moment found herself in her mother's arms.
“How do you do, my dear Nora?” said Mrs. O'Shanaghgan. “I am glad to see you, dear, but also surprised. You acted in your usual headstrong fashion.”
“Oh, another time, mother. Mummy, how are you? I am glad to see you again; but don't scold me now; just wait. I'll bear it all patiently another time. How is the dad, mummy?—how is the dad?”
“Your father is doing nicely, Nora; there was not the slightest occasion for you to hurry off and give such trouble and annoyance.”
“I don't suppose I have given annoyance to father,” said Nora. “Where is he—in his old room?”
“No; we moved him upstairs to the best bedroom. We thought it the wisest thing to do; he was in considerable pain.”
“The best bedroom? Which is the best bedroom?” said Nora. “Your room, mummy?”
“The room next to mine, darling. And just come and have a look at the drawing room, Nora.”
“I will go to father first,” said Nora. “Don't keep me; I can't stay.”
She forgot Molly; she forgot her uncle; she even forgot her mother. In a moment she was bounding upstairs over those thick Axminster carpets—those awful carpets, into which her feet sank—down a corridor, also heavily lined with Axminster, past great velvet curtains, which seemed to stifle her as she pushed them aside, and the next instant she had burst open a door.
In the old days this room had been absolutely destitute of furniture. In the older days again it had been the spare room of Castle O'Shanaghgan. Here hospitality had reigned; here guests of every degree had found a hearty welcome, an invitation to stay as long as they pleased, and the best that the Castle could afford for their accommodation. When Nora had left O'Shanaghgan, the only thing that had remained in the old room was a huge four-poster. Even the mattress from this old bed had been removed; the curtains had been taken from the windows; the three great windows were bare of both blinds and curtains. Now a soft carpet covered the............
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