"And is that all?"

"She got a second letter. She got it the very last day you was down here. Pat Cleary took it up to her when you was out wid Miss Kate."

"He wants money, I suppose."

"Just that, Mr. Neville."

"It makes a difference;--doesn't it?"

"How does it make a difference?"

"Well; it does. I wonder you don't see it. You must see it." From that moment Father Marty said in his heart that Kate O'Hara had lost her husband. Not that he admitted for a moment that Captain O'Hara's return, if he had returned, would justify the lover in deserting the girl; but that he perceived that Neville had already allowed himself to entertain the plea. The whole affair had in the priest's estimation been full of peril; but then the prize to be won was very great! From the first he had liked the young man, and had not doubted,--did not now doubt,--but that if once married he would do justice to his wife. Even though Kate should fail and should come out of the contest with a scorched heart,--and that he had thought more than probable,--still the prize was very high and the girl he thought was one who could survive such a blow. Latterly, in that respect he had changed his opinion. Kate had shewn herself to be capable of so deep a passion that he was now sure that she would be more than scorched should the fire be one to injure and not to cherish her. But the man's promises had been so firm, so often reiterated, were so clearly written, that the priest had almost dared to hope that the thing was assured. Now, alas, he perceived that the embryo English lord was already looking for a means of escape, and already thought that he had found it in this unfortunate return of the father. The whole extent of the sorrow even the priest did not know. But he was determined to fight the battle to the very last. The man should make the girl his wife, or he, Father Marty, parish priest of Liscannor, would know the reason why. He was a man who was wont to desire to know the reason why, as to matters which he had taken in hand. But when he heard the words which Neville spoke and marked the tone in which they were uttered he felt that the young man was preparing for himself a way of escape.

"I don't see that it should make any difference," he said shortly.

"If the man be disreputable,--"

"The daughter is not therefore disreputable. Her position is not changed."


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