"He hadn't any money, I suppose?"

"'Deed and I don't think he was iver throubled much in respect of money. But money doesn't matter, Mr. Neville."

"Not in the least," said Fred.

"Thim ladies up there are as poor as Job, but anybody that should say that they weren't ladies would just be shewing that he didn't know the difference. The Captain was well born, Mr. Neville, av' that makes ony odds."

"Birth does go for something, Father Marty."

"Thin let the Captain have the advantage. Them O'Haras of Kildare weren't proud of him I'm thinking, but he was a chip of that block; and some one belonging to him had seen the errors of the family ways, in respect of making him a Papist. 'Deed and I must say, Mr. Neville, when they send us any offsets from a Prothestant family it isn't the best that they give us."

"I suppose not, Father Marty."

"We can make something of a bit of wood that won't take ony shape at all, at all along wid them. But there wasn't much to boast of along of the Captain."

"But is he alive, Father Marty;--or is he dead? I think I've a right to be told."

"I am glad to hear you ask it as a right, Mr. Neville. You have a right if that young lady up there is to be your wife." Fred made no answer here, though the priest paused for a moment, hoping that he would do so. But the question could be asked again, and Father Marty went on to tell all that he knew, and all that he had heard of Captain O'Hara. He was alive. Mrs. O'Hara had received a letter purporting to be from her husband, giving an address in London, and asking for money. He, Father Marty, had seen the letter; and he thought that there might perhaps be a doubt whether it was written by the man of whom they were speaking. Mrs. O'Hara had declared that if it were so written the handwriting was much altered. But then in twelve years the writing of a man who drank hard will change. It was twelve years since she had last received a letter from him.


"And what do you believe?"

"I think he lives, and that he wrote it, Mr. Neville. I'll tell you God's truth about it as I believe it, because as I said before, I think you are entitled to know the truth."

"And what was done?"

"I sent off to London,--to a friend I have."

"And what did your friend say?"

"He says there is a man calling himself Captain O'Hara."

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