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HOME > Short Stories > Light O' The Morning > CHAPTER XXXII. — ANDY.
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 Are there any words in the language to describe the scene which took place at O'Shanaghgan when Mrs. O'Shanaghgan discovered what Nora had done? She called her brother to her aid; and, visiting the barn in her own august person, her company dress held neatly up so as to display her trim ankles and pretty shoes, solemnly announced that her daughter Nora was guilty of the murder of her own father, and that she, Mrs. O'Shanaghgan, washed her hands of her in the future.  
“Yes, Nora,” said the irate lady, “you can go your own way from this time. I have done all that a mother could do for you; but your wildness and insubordination are past bearing. This last and final act crowns all. The servants shall come into the barn, and bring your poor father back to his bedroom, and you shall see nothing of him again until the doctor gives leave. Pray, George,” continued Mrs. O'Shanaghgan, “send one of the grooms at once for Doctor Talbot. I doubt if my poor husband has a chance of recovery after this mad deed; but we must take what steps we can.”
“Now, look here, Ellen,” said the Squire; “if you can't be aisy, be as aisy as you can. There's no sort of use in your putting on these high-falutin airs. I was born an Irishman. I opened my eyes on this world in a good, sharp draught, and, if I am to die, it's in a draught I'll leave the world; but, once for all, no more smotherations for me. I've had too much of 'em. You say this child is likely to be the death of me. Why, then, Ellen—God forgive yer ignorance, my poor wife—but it's the life of me she'll be, not the death. Isn't it in comfort I'm lying for the first time since that spalpeen behind the hedge tried to fell me to the earth? Isn't it a good meal I've just had?—potatoes in their jackets, and a taste of fat bacon; and if I can wash it down, as I mean to later on, with a drop of mountain-dew, why, it's well I'll slumber to-night. You're a very fine woman, me lady, and I'm proud as Punch of you, but you don't know how to manage a wild Irishman when he is ill. Now, Nora, bless her pretty heart, saw right through and through me—the way I was being killed by inches; the hot room and the horrid carpets and curtains; and the fire, not even made of decent turf, but those ugly black coals, and never a draught through the chamber, except when I took it unbeknownst to you. Ah, Nora guessed that her father was dying, and there was no way of saving him but doing it on the sly. Well, I'm here, the girleen has managed it, and here I'll stay. Not all the doctors in the land, nor all the fine English grooms, shall take me back again. I'll walk back when I'm fit to walk, and I'll do my best to bear all that awful furniture; but in future this is my bedroom, and now you know the worst.”
The Squire had a great color in his face as he spoke; his eyes were shining as they had not shone since his accident, and his voice was quite strong. Squire Murphy, who was standing near, clapped him on the shoulder.
“Why, Patrick,” he said, “it's proud of you I am; you're like your old self again—blest if you're not.”
Nora, who was kneeling by her father's bed, kept her face slightly turned away from her mother; the tears were in her eyes, but there was a well of thanksgiving in her heart. In spite of her mother's angry reproaches, she knew she had done the right thing. Her father would get well now. After all, his Irish daughter knew what he wanted, and she must bear her English mother's anger.
In an incredibly short space of time two or three of the men-servants appeared, accompanied by Dr. Talbot. They stood in the entrance to the barn, prepared to carry out orders; but now there stole past them the Irish groom, Angus, and Hannah Croneen. These two came and stood near Nora at the head of the bed. Dr. Talbot examined the patient, looked round the cheerless barn, and said, with a smile, glancing from Mrs. O'Shanaghgan to O'Shanaghgan's own face:
“This will never do; you must get back to your own comfortable room, my dear sir—that is, if I am to continue to attend you.”
“Then, for God's sake, leave off attending me, Talbot,” said the Squire. “You must be a rare ignoramus not to see that your treatment is killing me out and out. It's fresh air I want, and plenty of it, and no more fal-lals. Is it in my grave you'd have me in a fortnight's time? You get out of this, and leave me to Mother Nature and the nursing of my Irish colleen.”
This was the final straw. Mrs. O'Shanaghgan left the barn, looking more erect and more stately even than when she had entered it. Mr. Hartrick followed her, so did the enraged Dr. Talbot, and lastly the English servants. Squire Murphy uttered the one word, “Routed!” and clapped his hand on his thigh.
The Squire, however, spoke sadly.
“I am sorry to vex your lady mother, Nora,” he said; “and upon my soul, child, you must get me well as quick as possible. We must prove to her that we are in the right—that we must.”
“Have a dhrop of the crayther, your honor,” said Hannah, now coming forward. “It's truth I'm telling, but this is me very last bottle of potheen, which I was keeping for me funeral; but there, his honor's wilcome to every drain of it.”
“Pour me out a little,” said the Squire.
He drank off the spirit, which was absolutely pure and unadulterated, and smacked his lips.
“It's fine I'll be to-night,” he said; “it's you that have the 'cute ways, Nora. You have saved me. But, indeed, I thank you all, my friends, for coming to my deliverance.”
That night, in her smoke-begrimed cabin, Hannah Croneen described with much unction the way madam and the English doctor had been made to know their place, as she expressed it.
“'Twas himself that put them down,” said Hannah. “Ah, but he is a grand man, is O'Shanaghgan.”
Mrs. O'Shanaghgan spent a very unhappy night. No comfort could she derive even from Mr. Hartrick's words. Nora was an out-and-out rebel, and must be treated accordingly; and as to the Squire—well, when Nora attended his funeral her eyes might be opened. The good lady was quite certain that the Squire would have developed pneumonia by the morning; but when the reports reached her that he looked heartier and better than he had since his illness, she cou............
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