"I have to think of my friends."
"You should have thought of that before you declared yourself to her, Mr. Neville." How true this was now, the young man knew better than the priest, but that, as yet, was his own secret. "You do not mean to tell me that because the father is not all that he should be, she is therefore to be thrown over. That cannot be your idea of honour. Have you not promised that you would make her your wife?" The priest stopped for an answer, but the young man made him none. "Of course you have promised her."
"I suppose she has told you so."
"To whom should she tell her story? To whom should she go for advice? But it was you who told me so, yourself."
"Did you not swear to me that you would not injure her? And why should there have been any talk with you and me about her, but that I saw what was coming? When a young man like you chooses to spend his hours day after day and week after week with such a one as she is, with a beautiful young girl, a sweet innocent young lady, so sweet as to make even an ould priest like me feel that the very atmosphere she breathes is perfumed and hallowed, must it not mean one of two things;--that he desires to make her his wife or else,--or else something so vile that I will not name it in connection with Kate O'Hara? Then as her mother's friend, and as hers,--as their only friend near them, I spoke out plainly to you, and you swore to me that you intended no harm to her."
"I would not harm her for the world."
"When you said that, you told me as plainly as you could spake that she should be your wife. With her own mouth she never told me. Her mother has told me. Daily Mrs. O'Hara has spoken to me of her hopes and fears. By the Lord above me whom I worship, and by His Son in whom I rest all my hopes, I would not stand in your shoes if you intend to tell that woman that after all that has passed you mean to desert her child."
"Who has talked of deserting?" asked Neville angrily.
"Say that you will be true to her, that you will make her your wife before God and man, and I will humbly ask your pardon."
"All that I say is that this Captain O'Hara's coming is a nuisance."
"If that be all, there is an end of it. It is a nuisance. Not that I suppose he ever will come. If he persists she must send him a little money. There shall be no difficulty about that. She will never ask you to supply the means of keeping her husband."