"Oh, certainly," said the Captain. "I must be--arranged for, and that so soon as possible." The man spoke with a slightly foreign accent and in a tone, as Fred thought, which savoured altogether of the galleys. "You have done me the honour, I am informed, to make my daughter all your own. These estimable people assure me that you hasten to make her your wife on the instant. I consent. The O'Haras, who are of the very oldest blood in Europe, have always connected themselves highly. Your uncle is a most excellent nobleman whose hand I shall be proud to grasp." As he thus spoke he stalked across the room to Fred, intending at once to commence the work of grasping the Neville family.

"Get back," said Fred, retreating to the door.

"Is it that you fail to believe that I am your bride's father?"

"I know not whose father you may be. Get back."

"He is what he says he is," said the priest. "You should bear with him for a while."

"Where is Kate?" demanded Fred. It seemed as though, for the moment, he were full of courage. He looked round at Mrs. O'Hara, but nobody answered him. She was still standing with her eyes fixed upon the man, almost as though she thought that she could dart out upon him and destroy him. "Where is Kate?" he asked again. "Is she well?"

"Well enough to hide herself from her old father," said the Captain, brushing a tear from his eye with the back of his hand.

"You shall see her presently, Mr. Neville," said the priest.

Then Neville whispered a word into the priest's ear. "What is it that the man wants?"

"You need not regard that," said Father Marty.


"Mr. Marty," said the Captain, "you concern yourself too closely in my affairs. I prefer to open my thoughts and desires to my son-in-law. He has taken measures which give him a right to interfere in the family. Ha, ha, ha."

"If you talk like that I'll stab you to the heart," said Mrs. O'Hara, jumping forward. Then Fred Neville perceived that the woman had a dagger in her hand which she had hitherto concealed from him as she stood up against the wall behind the head of the sofa. He learnt afterwards that the priest, having heard in Liscannor of the man's arrival, had hurried up to the cottage, reaching it almost at the same moment with the Captain. Kate had luckily at the moment been in her room and had not seen her father. She was still in her bed and was ill;--but during the scene that occurred afterwards she roused herself. But Mrs. O'Hara, even in the priest's presence, had at once seized the weapon from the drawer,--showing that she was prepared even for murder, had murder been found necessary by her for her relief. The man had immediately asked as to the condition of his daughter, and the mother had learned that her child's secret was known to all Liscannor. The priest now laid his hand upon her and stopped her, but he did it in all gentleness. "You'll have a fierce pig of a mother-in-law, Mr. Neville," said the Captain, "but your wife's father,--you'll find him always gentle and open to reason. You were asking what I wanted."

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