"And it's on me you are throwing the blame?"

"You should have told me, Father Marty."

"By the great God above me, I did not believe that a man could be such a villain! As I look for glory I did not think it possible! I should have tould you! Neither did I nor did Mistress O'Hara know or believe that the man was alive. And what has the man to do with it? Is she vile because he has been guilty? Is she other than you knew her to be when you first took her to your bosom, because of his sin?"

"It does make a difference, Mr. Marty."

"Afther what you have done it can make no difference. When you swore to her that she should be your wife, and conquered her by so swearing, was there any clause in your contract that you were not to be bound if you found aught displaising to you in her parentage?"

"I ought to have known it all."

"You knew all that she knew;--all that I knew. You knew all that her mother knew. No, Lord Scroope. It cannot be that you should be so unutterably a villain. You are your own masther. Unsay what you have said to me, and her ears shall never be wounded or her heart broken by a hint of it."

"I cannot make her Countess of Scroope. You are a priest, and can use what words you please to me;--but I cannot make her Countess of Scroope."

"Faith,--and there will be more than words used, my young lord. As to your plot of a counterfeit marriage,--"

"I said nothing of a counterfeit marriage."


"What was it you said, then? I say you did. You proposed to me,--to me a priest of God's altar,--a false counterfeit marriage, so that those two poor women, who you are afraid to face, might be cajoled and chaited and ruined."

"I am going to face them instantly."

"Then must your heart be made of very stone. Shall I tell you the consequences?" Then the priest paused awhile, and the young man, bursting into tears, hid his face against the wall. "I will tell you the consequences, Lord Scroope. They will die. The shame and sorrow which you have brought on them, will bring them to their graves,--and so there will be an end of their throubles upon earth. But while I live there shall be no rest for the sole of your foot. I am ould, and may soon be below the sod, but I will lave it as a legacy behind me that your iniquity shall be proclaimed and made known in high places. While I live I will follow you, and when I am gone there shall be another to take the work. My curse shall rest on you,--the curse of a man of God, and you shall be accursed. Now, if it suits you, you can go up to them at Ardkill and tell them your story. She is waiting to receive her lover. You can go to her, and stab her to the heart at once. Go, sir! Unless you can change all this and alter your heart even as you hear my words, you are unfit to find shelter beneath my roof."

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