"I wish I knew him," said Kate. "I wish I could have seen him once."

"That can never be," said Fred, sadly.

"No;--of course not."

Then Mrs. O'Hara asked a question. "Has he ever heard of us?"

"Yes;--he has heard of you."

"From you?"

"No;--not first from me. There are many reasons why I would not have mentioned your names could I have helped it. He has wished me to marry another girl,--and especially a Protestant girl. That was impossible."

"That must be impossible now, Fred," said Kate, looking up into his face.

"Quite so, dearest; but why should I have vexed him, seeing that he is so good to me, and that he must be gone so soon?"

"Who had told him of us?" asked Mrs. O'Hara.


"That woman down there at Castle Quin."

"Lady Mary?"

"Foul-tongued old maid that she is," exclaimed Fred. "She writes to my aunt by every post, I believe."

"What evil can she say of us?"

"She does say evil. Never mind what. Such a woman always says evil of those of her sex who are good-looking."

"There, mother;--that's for you," said Kate, laughing. "I don't care what she says."

"If she tells your aunt that we live in a small cottage, without servants, without society, with just the bare necessaries of life, she tells the truth of us."

"That's just what she does say;--and she goes on harping about religion. Never mind her. You can understand that my uncle should be old-fashioned. He is very old, and we must wait."

"Waiting is so weary," said Mrs. O'Hara.

"It is not weary for me at all," said Kate.

Then he left them, without having said a word about the Captain. He found the Captain to be a subject very uncomfortable to mention, and thought as he was sitting there that it might perhaps be better to make his first enquiries of this priest. No one said a word to him about the Captain beyond what he had heard from his boatman. For, as it happened, he did not see the priest till May was nearly past, and during all that time things were going from bad to worse. As regarded any services which he rendered to the army at this period of his career, the excuses which he had made to his uncle were certainly not valid. Some pretence at positively necessary routine duties it must be supposed that he made; but he spent more of his time either on the sea, or among the cliffs with Kate, or on the road going backwards and forwards, than he did at his quarters. It was known that he was to leave the regiment and become a great man at home in October, and his brother officers were kind to him. And it was known also, of course, that there was a young lady down on the sea coast beyond Ennistimon, and doubtless there were jokes on the subject. But there was no one with him at Ennis having such weight of fears or authority as might have served to help to rescue him. During this time Lady Mary Quin still made her reports, and his aunt's letters were full of cautions and entreaties. "I am told," said the Countess, in one of her now detested epistles, "that the young woman has a reprobate father who has escaped from the galleys. Oh, Fred, do not break our hearts." He had almost forgotten the Captain when he received this further rumour which had circulated to him round by Castle Quin and Scroope Manor.

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