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In Chimney Corners by  Seumas MacManus

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Myles McGarry and Donal McGarry

MYLES MCGARRY AND DONAL MCGARRY

[159] ONCE on a time there was two brothers, Myles McGarry and Donal McGarry, and they had only a weeshy wee bit of a sod of land that they called a farm, but it was that small that a daicent crow with any self-respect would be ashamed to live on it; and, though Myles and Donal was two hard workin', industhrus boys close on to forty-five years of age, and worked early and late, in fair weather and foul, the dickens a bit of them could make as much out of the wee sparrow park as would keep body and sowl together, so sez Myles to Donal, sez he, one mornin' in the latther end o' harwust, sez he: "Now' Donal, asthore, as we've got in the wee crop safe and sound, and there's nothing more to do again' the winther, it wouldn't hould me," sez Myles, sez he, "to sthart away and hire till the Wareday comes round again, [160] when I'll maybe find something to do helping you to put in a wee bit of crop. In the mane-time, keep you a tight grip on the farm and don't let it blow away when the wind rises." So, spitting on his staff, and wishing Donal "God prosper him," off he stharted, and away he travelled afore him for long an' long, till at length he come into a strange country, where he fell in with a gentleman-looking man; and this lad asked him where was he going, or what was a trouble to him.

"I'm looking for a masther," sez Myles.

"Well, by the powdhers," sez the gentleman-looking man, sez he, "but I'm looking for a sarvant."

"Well and good," sez Myles, sez he, "I think we could do worse nor strike up. What's your tarms?" sez Myles.

"Well, my tarms," sez the gentleman-looking man, "my tarms," sez he, "is a wee bit out of the ornery. The pay," sez he, "is purty good; I'll give fifty pounds for a good sarvant, from now till the cuckoo has called three times—only this: any boy hires with me must never confess himself out of timper, or displaised [161] with me; at the same time that I'll agree never to confess myself out of timper or displaised with him; and if aither of us breaks this undherstanding he's to allow his two ears to be clipped off with the woolshears, by the other. Do you consint to them tarms?" sez he.

"Well," sez Myles, sez he, "the tarms is what I call a bit quare; but, still and ever, considhering that I favour the look of ye—and I think your'e a jintleman—and as I know that I have a fairishly good timper meself, and as the wages is nate—why, I say all things considered, I'm inclined to be of opinion that I might go further and fare worse. So considher me hired."

Very good, Myles went home with his masther and had nothing to do that night, but got a good supper, and went to his bed, and in the morning when he got up the masther was with him immediately and sez:—

"Go out," sez he, "to the barn, and start thrashin' that wee grain of corn. There's not much in it," sez he, "and ye'll not get your breakwist till you have done."

Well and good. Off Myles started, whistling, to the barn. But when he got there and [162] looked in of the door, my faix, his tune was soon changed, for there was as good as six ton of corn piled and panged up to the roof.

"Phew-ew-ew!" sez Myles, "there's some mistake here, surely. There's siveral days' thrashin' of corn there, and he can't expect one to have that done by breakwist time. But I'll do what I can, anyhow, and thrash away till they call me in."

But Myles, unfortunate christian that he was, he thrashed and thrashed away, and if he'd been thrashin' since there wouldn't one of them have come out to call him in to his breakwist. So my poor Myles thrashed away, and pegged away, till he had a heap of corn as big as a wee hill, and a pile of straw as big as a mountain before and behind him, and by that time it was falling night, and no one having come to call him, he pitched the flail from him as far as he could throw it and pushed for the house. There he met the masther.

"Well, Myles," sez the masther, "it can't be that it's only now ye're finishin' that wee grain of corn?" sez he.

"Finishin' it!" sez Myles, scornfully, that [163] way after him—"Finishin' it, in troth! No, nor it's not well begun. Nice thrashers," sez he, "ye must have in this part of the country if they do the like of that afore breakwist."

"Oh!" sez the masther, "so it's what ye haven't done yet, then? Very well, ye get no breakfast till it's finished—but I won't refuse you sleep. You can go to bed for the night, and go at it fresh in the morning."

Myles listened to him for a while, and then he flew out in a passion.

"And is that the way ye're goin' to thrate me, a daicent woman's son, to send me to bed breakwistless, dinnerless, and supperless, and go out to thrash the morra mornin' again fresh and fastin' on the bare-footed stomach—is that the way, ye onnatural brute, ye, is that the way—"

"Aisy, aisy," sez the masther. "Are ye angry with me, Myles?"

Then Myles minded his bargain, and he got down in the mouth, and,

"Oh, no, no," sez he, "I'm not angry with ye at all, at all."

And with that he went to his bed, and next [164] morning he was up and out early to his work, and there the poor fellow worked and sweated, and thrashed and thrashed, till he was fairly falling down with the hunger and waikness, and he seen that at this rate it's dead he'd be afore he got half through with the corn. And at this time, who looks in of the barn door with a snicker of a laugh in his throat but the masther.

"Well, Myles," sez he, "not breakwist time yet I see?"

This was too much for flesh and blood to stand. He draws the flail one polthogue at the lad in the door, and just barely missed him by a hair's breadth.

"What, Myles, Myles," sez he, "sure it's not angry with me you are?"

"Is it not, though?" sez Myles, "I wish," sez he, "the ould divel had ye, for ye're the most onnatural brute I ever come across,—bad scran to ye!"

"All right, all right," sez he, "down on your knees with ye," and taking hold of the wool-shears he left poor Myles' head in a couple of minutes as bare of ears as the head of a herrin'. [165] And off poor Myles started for home, and reached Donal and the farm in a woful plight. And he starts and rehearses to Donal the whole norration of all happened to him.

"Never mind," sez Donal, sez he, when he finished—"Never mind," sez he, "if I don't get even with him. Just you stop at home, now, Myles," sez he, "and keep the farm from blowing away, till I go and see how him and me can agree."

So spitting on his stick, and in the same way, wishing Myles, "God prosper him," he started off, and travelled away afore him for days and nights till he come to the same strange country and fell in with the very same man that Myles did. And the man said he was looking for a good sarvant, and Donal said he was looking for a good masther; so the long and the short of it was that Donal engaged on the very same tarms Myles did.

The very next morning after he hired, the masther tould him to go out and thrash a wee grain of corn was in the barn afore he'd get his breakwist. Donal went out and started the thrashing, and the first cart he saw passin' the way going to the next town, he gathered up a bag of the corn and threw it on it, telling the driver to sell it in the town and fetch him back the worth of it in provisions, aitables and so-forth. Faix, my brave Donal thrashed away at his aise for three or four days whistlin' like a thrush, and aitin' and drinkin' like a lord, and every day regular the ould tyrant would come and look in, and ax him how he was getting along. "As snug as a bug in a rug," me brave Donal would tell him, and then whistle up a livelier jig, and the ould fella would go away with himself, with a face as long as all undertaker's when trade's dull, wondherin' how on earth the lad could thrash so long without a pick of breakwist, till at last he began to get a bit misdoubtful of himself; and so, the fifth day, when he gleeked in, and found Donal, if anything, in bigger heart than usual.

"Do ye hear me, my man?" sez he to Donal.

"Oh, I'm listenin'," sez Donal, going on with his whistling.

"Ye wouldn't be feeling hungry for a pick of something to eat?" sez he.

[167] "Throgs, no; I'm thankful to you," sez Donal.

He studied on himself a while, and shook his head. "You're here, now—let me see—One, two, three, four, five—this is your fifth day," sez he, "you're here, now, and what's strikin' me as odd, bite or sup didn't cross your lips since ye come here," sez he.

"Didn't they, though?" sez Donal, back again to him that way, with a knowing wink.

This give him a sort of a start. "And sure they didn't?" sez he.

"That's all you know about it, me rare ould buck," sez Donal, sez he, "I'm livin' like a prence," sez he, "on the best of everything, lavings and lashings, and no thanks to nobody," sez Donal.

"Livin' like a prence?" sez the ould fella. "An' in the name of powdher," sez he, "where did you get the mait?"

"I got it in the town," sez Donal, "where any one will get it that gives value for it. There's no day the sun rises that there doesn't pass by the barn door here, goin' to the town, a string of carts as long as the day an' the morra; an' [168] what's aisier done nor throwin' a sack of that whait on them—an' throth," sez Donal, handlin' a couple of grains of it, "bully whait it is; the shop-keepers is sendin' me out word to send in all I can of it, and they'll insure me the top of the market-what's aisier, I say," sez Donal, sez he, "than hoistin' a sack or two of that fine whait on one of them carts betimes, an' gettin' back the worth of it in the best of everything, aitable, or drinkable?" sez Donal.

"What? my whait!" sez the curmudgeon, dancing with rage. "Is it my whait! Is it send my whait to the town, ye villainous scoundrelly—"

"Aisy, aisy, masther," sez Donal. "Aisy, avic, are ye displaised with me?" sez he, that way.

Ah, an' by the boots the ould fellow didn't know whether it was on his head or his heels he was, when he seen he was cornered. He changed the tune all at wanst.

"Oh, no, no," sez he, "I'm right well plaised with ye, Donal."

"I'm glad to hear it," sez Donal.

[169] "Maybe you're displaised a bit with me," sez he to Donal, thinkin' to corner him.

"Not by no mains," sez Donal. "Ye're a bully masther, so ye are."

Well, that fared well, and the ould fellow wint away chokin' with rage, an' plottin' an' plannin, what anondher the sun he'd do to catch Donal. Me brave Donal come whistlin' home and wint to his bed, an' the nixt mornin' when he got up, his masther comes to him, and he give him two wild horses, and sends him out to plough with them, and—

"Donal," sez he pointin' out the field he was to go ploughin' in, "Donal," sez he "ye're not to leave that bit of a field till ye have it ploughed.

"Well, masther," sez Donal, sez he, "I'll do me best, and off Donal starts with the horses to the field, but, phew! if Donal was workin' at them horses from that time till now could he get them to pull in the plough. Donal soon seen that there was no use workin' with them so down he sits him on the ditch, and started up a lively lilt for company till he sees, comin' along the road, a hawker with two miserable old rickles of skin and bones that went undher [170] the name of horses—they were broken kneed, and broken-winded, and broken-boned and broken in everything only the appetite, and their hides was as white with stress of age as the top of Croagh Gorm on a Christmas mornin', and one of them had only three legs dhrawin' pay, and the other of them had a cough and a spit, and together they were like a walking infirm'ry, and when the hawker dhrew them up opposite where Donal was ploughin', and let them lean up again' each other to rest, sez Donal, sez he:

"Them's very manageable little bastes of yours," sez he.

"Well, sure enough, I can't complain of their being wild that way," sez the hawker.

"What do you think if you had these two fine black horses of mine?" sez Donal.

"I'd be afther not knowin' meself with pride if I had them spirited animals," sez he. "Quiet bastes like this pair of mine," sez he, "is all very well in their way; but when they come to be so very shy and backward that ye must pull them down wan hill, an' push them up the [171] next) that's what I call," sez he, "too much of a good thing."

"Right ye are, me good man," sez Donal. "An if ye have ten poun' on ye, I'll take that of boot an' swap with ye."

"Done," sez the hawker.

An' then an' there both of them unloosed their yokes an' Donal got the ten poun', an' then tackling the two objects that it was a moral to see, into the plough, he started work at once, an' when his master comes out in the middle of the day to see how Donal was gettin' on an' seen the two morals that he was sthrivin' to drive afore him in the plough, it was hard to say whether it was his eyes or his mouth that he opened widest.

"I say me good man," sez he.

"Say away," sez Donal, layin' on the bastes as hard as he could.

"Where's my two horses, I give ye this mornin'?"

"Make use of yer eyes," sez Donal, sez he, "an' ye'll see them."

"Get out, ye scoundhril," sez he, "them [172] white scarecrows aren't mine. My horses were black," sez he.

"Thrue for ye, masther," sez Donal, "so they were black this morning; but they were so uncommon hard to manage that I have coloured them white since with the sweat I tuk out iv them."

"To the dickens with that for a story," sez the ould fellow, sez he, jumpin' at Donal's throat. "Get me my horses, ye ruffian ye, or be this an' be that," sez he, "I'll not leave a bone in yer body I won't make into jelly, ye morodin' thief ye!" sez he.

"What, what, masther," sez Donal, sez he, "sure it's not angry with me ye are?"

"Oh, no, no, not at all," sez he, comin' to his senses at wanst—"not at all," sez he, "ye're the best boy ever I had."

"An throgs, an'," sez Donal, sez he, "you're the best masther iver I had."

An' away the masther goes with his mouth in a puss, an' away goes Donal with his tongue in his cheek, an' got his breakwist, an' did as he liked the remainder of that day.

Well, there the masther was in a purty [173] pickle, an' he didn't know, ondher the shinin' sun what to do with Donal, an' he said to himself if he had him much longer Donal would have him dead, desthroyed, ruinated entirely, an' robbed, so he took it into his head that the best thing to be done was to ordher Donal to go to the woods in' catch the wild loy-on (lion) that was killin' an' desthroyin' all afore him, an' bring him alive to his masther's house. "An' if that doesn't settle him," sez the masther, sez he, to himself, "I don't know what will."

So, gettin' up betimes next mornin', he calls Donal in.

"Donal," sez he, "there's a wild loy-on in the woods beyant, an' he's murderin' an' killin' all afore him, an' I want you go and catch him, an' lead him up here alive afore twelve o'clock this day, or if ye fail to do that I'll have ye beheaded as soon as ye come back."

"All right," sez Donal, sez he, "there's no use biddin' the divil 'good-morra' 'till ye meet him, so in the meantime I'll go and sthrive to fetch in the loy-on, an' we'll talk of the beheadin' business later."

Off for the woods then Donal starts, an' when [174] he got there, down on the stump of a tree me brave Donal sits, with his considherin' cap like, on him, an' "Donal, me lad," sez he to himself, "ye had a good many pulls in ye, but ye're at the en' o' yer tether now; when yerself, me boy, in' the wild loy-on meets that will be the last pull, an' then, och, och! the Lord be good to poor Myles, the poor boy at home, without a lug on him," sez he, "och, the Goodman, pity him, what's to become of him when I'm gone?"

All at wanst Donal sees a little red man comin' forrid to him with a bridle in his hand.

"Ye have a wee throuble on yer heart ?" sez the wee red man, sez he, when he come forrid.

"No lie for ye," sez Donal, "I have."

"I know it all," sez the wee red man, "an' cheer up, for I'll pull ye through."

"Is it you?" sez Donal, sez he, lookin' up and down the wee heighth of hill, with a comical look; for disthressed an' all as he was, he couldn't help smilin' to himself at the consait of him. "Is it you to pull me through?" sez Donal, sez he.

"Oh, never mind," sez the wee red man, [175] "there's people isn't to be judged by their size," sez he, "I'm under obligations to your family," sez he, "an' I'll do you a good turn now. Take that bridle, an' when ye meet the loy-on," sez he, "shake it at him, and he'll be as meek as a mouse till ye put it on him an' lead him where ye like. But take that auger, too," sez he, "and when ye've caught the loy-on, bore a hole in the biggest tree in the wood, run the loy-on's tail through the hole an' knot it on the other side. Start him off then for the house," sez he, an' he reached the bridle an' the auger to Donal.

Donal was all dumbfoundhered seein' he'd made light of the little red man, for he now saw, sure enough, he belonged to the Good People, that no man should spake or say ill of in their hearin'. But off he starts, with the bridle an' the auger, an' a light heart, an' he soon fell in with the wild loy-on that was comin' on hot-foot, roarin' an' rampagin', to devore Donal.

"It's hungry ye are for a toothful," sez Donal, sez he, "an' maybe it's not just doin' the daicent thing to disappoint ye," sez he. "But," sez he, shakin' the bridle at him, "there's a time an' place for everythin' but cuttin' [176] corns; an' you'll get feedin' enough if ye only hould on till I fetch ye up to my masther an' his ould mother," sez he.

An', sure enough, the vartue was in the bridle, for the minnit Donal shuk it at him the loy-on give over his rampagin', an' let Donal slip the bridle on him.

"This way, now, yer worship," sez Donal, sez he, leadin' him to the biggest tree in the wood, where he bored a hole with the auger an' knotted the loy-on's tail through it, an' then touchin' him up, started off for the house. An' the loy-on dragged up the big tree, an' ten acres of land that stuck to the roots of it, an' off to the house.

But, that was the play, when Donal come throttin' up to the house, drivin' the wild loy-on with the tree and ten acres of land to his tail, afore him, an' whistlin' like vingeance, "Whin Johnny comes marchin' home!" Och-och, but the ould boy his masther was in the devil's own quandarry, whin Donal pulled up the devorin' brute and the luggage behind, right at his hall-doore, same as you might pull up an ass an' cart an'—

[177] "Gwoh, Johnnie," sez Donal, sez he, to the loy-on.

But, me sowl! the masther didn't wait to say, "It's thankful I am," or "—'Tis well ye done it," or any other little civility of the sort but slammin' out the hall-door an' barrin', boltin', an' double-lockin' it, gallops away, an' away up the stairs to the top o' the house, an' lookin' out of the garret windy.

"Hilloa, Donal," sez he.

"I'm lindin' ye my attintion as hard as I can," sez Donal.

"Clear off out o' that, ye scoundhril ye—yerself an' that brute baste. A nice article, that," sez he, "to fetch to a man's hall-doore."

"Well, whither he's purty or not," sez Donal, sez he, "he's as God left him—an' that's a quistion by itself. But as for takin' him away, the bargain was, I was to fetch him here; but ye forgot to put in a coddy-stool that I was to fetch him back; so, he's here now; an' here, with the help of the Lord, he'll remain, for, so far as I'm consarned, the sight of him at the hall-doore doesn't disturb me in the laste little [178] bit, an' he may sit on his hunkers there till they make a guager of him, for all I care. In throgs, maybe I had my own throuble gettin' round the same buck—puttin' the comether on him first, an' the bridle afther, an' maybe, too, afther I had the bridle on him, an' all—maybe it would be a bit pleasanter job to ate one's breakwist than to fetch the same lad home," sez Donal, sez he.

"Oh, but Donal, ye know, Donal," sez the masther, "sure there'll be no livin' in the counthry at all, at all, with him, if he's goin' to make his sait there at my hall-doore," sez he.

"Well, there ye are now, masther," sez Donal, sez he, "an' there's the loy-on, an' between yerself an' him be it. Maybe," sez he, "if ye comed down an' had a collogue with him, ye might be able to raison him over, an' he might see his way to get up an' go off, himself and his applecart, back to the woods again," sez he, "won't ye come down, an' misure logic with him?" sez Donal.

"Well, troth, an' I'll not Donal," sez the masther, sez he, "thry anything o' the sort. I don't fancy at all, at all, the sort of logic that's [179] in that lad's eye. But do you, Donal avic, like the good, daicent, obligin' boy ye always were—do you take and thurn his head right roun' and laive him back in the same place ye tuk him from, an' I'll not aisy forget it to ye; an' moreover nor that," sez he, "I'll niver, niver more, Donal, ax ye to do anything hard or conthrairy again," sez he.

"Phew! not if I know it," sez Donal. "It's the dickens's own throuble he give me to fetch him here, an' as I'm no-wise covetious of honours I'll give some other man," sez he, "the privilege of laiving him back."

"Donal," sez the masther, sez he, "how many poun' over an' above yer wages will ye take, an' laive him the spot ye fetched him from?"

"Well, masther," sez Donal, "like Terry Hanney's Pig, thon (yon) time—not puttin' the Christian in comparishment with the pig—ye have raison with ye now. Over an' above me wages, considherin' the mortial troublesome job I'm goin' to give meself, sez Donal, "I'll have no objection in the world to takin' fifty poun'," sez he, "an' laive the loy-on the spot I fetched him from."

[180] "Donal," sez the masther, "ye couldn't do it aisier."

"Oh, the ding a aisier I could do it," sez he. "As you think it can be done chaiper, there he is, an' just say yer prayers, an' square up yer wee accounts betwixt yerself an yer sowl, an' then come down an' start in on him."

"Oh, for the sake of all the powers ever was cray-ated," sez the masther, "don't laive go of him for yer life an' sowl. Ye'll have the fifty pounds," sez he, "with a heart an' a half; only laive him back where I'll nivir see a sight o' him more," sez he.

"Me jew'l, are ye," sez Donal, sez he, touchin' up the wild loy-on, "I'll soon rid ye o' the menagerie;" an' in a jiffy he was off, himself an' the loy-on, an' the wee farm at their tail an' me brave Donal niver halted till he left back the loy-on at the very identical spot he caught him, an' onloosin' his tail an' takin' the bridle off o' him, he let him go, an' the wee red man then an' there appaired, an' Donal handed over the bridle to him, an' thanked him from his heart, an' the both o' them parted.

Afther all this was over, the ould masther [181] had a great consultation entirely with his ould mother as regards what they'd do with Donal, or how they were to get him away at all, at all, for the Ould Fella in the Lower Counthry could be no match for Donal; that he was a scoundhril, a rogue, an' a robber, an' that if they had him much longer they wouldn't maybe be able to call the very noses on their faces their own; an' by the time the cuckoo'd call, it's in their cowld graves they'd be when they'd hear it. So they made up a plan that the very nixt night they'd have a regular spree an' jollification, an' invite in a wheen o' the naybours an' make Donal right hearty; and in the middle of it the ould mother would go out an' go up into the bush outside the house an' call "Cuckoo! cuckoo! cuckoo!" three times, an' when Donal would hear this—seein' he'd have the dhrop in—he wouldn't know the differ, but what it was the rale cuckoo that was callin', an' so they'd make him pack up an' go in the mornin'.

This was a gran' plan entirely; so the very nixt night they had a great spree, an' the naybours was axed in, an' "Donal," sez the masther, sez he, "we'll be makin' nowise odd o' [182] you; ye have shown yerself a good, industhrous, obligatin' boy, that only for ye I don't know what we'd have done at all, at all," sez he, "so ye'll just dhrop in an' enjoy the night," sez he, "like any other; for we'd like to show ye whatever wee kindness we could—meself an' me poor ould mother," sez he.

Donal thanked himself an' his ould mother, an' sayed he'd surely take advantage of their very nice, kindly invitation. So Donal was at the spree, an' they put no stint of good sthrong whiskey in his way till they made him purty hearty; an' then, the masther, to show his pride in Donal—if it was thrue to him—sez:

"Donal," sez he, "could ye obligate the company by givin' us a good ould Irish song—one of the rale ould sort?" sez he.

"Lora hainey, I can that," sez Donal, "give them one of the rale ould style," sez he, an' he stharted up "Túirne Mhairé," or "Mary's Wheel," with a roll that fairly put the company on their heads with delight, they niver havin' heard an Irish song afore. When he was finished, an' his masther had talked all sorts of applause to him, he commenced workin' round [183] to prepare him for the cuckoo, the ould mother havin' gone out in the manetime to get up the bush—an' faix, a purty jinny-wran she was, an'—

"Donal," sez he, "it's wearin' round torst the time of year we'd be partin' now, an' I'm very sorry for it; for, throgs, though I didn't make no great bones about it, I had an oncommon great regard for ye, an' it's I'll be the sorry man when ye go."

"Faix then, masther," sez Donal, sez he, "I'll have the same story to tell meself. But I don't care if I engage with ye another tarm, at the same bargain," sez he.

"Oh, no, no, Donal," sez he, "that would niver do at all, at all; me mother an' me isn't just as well off in the world as we used to be, an' I think we'll have to give up keepin' a boy."

"Oh, anyhows, cheer up," sez Donal, sez he, "it's a far cry yet till the cuckoo calls. It's but young in the year ye know."

"Oh, ay, but Donal, ye know, this is an airly saison, entirely, an' I wouldn't be at all mismoved if I'd hear the cuckoo, now, any minute. An', more by the same token," sez he, "if I [184] wasn't very much deludhered, it was about the shape an' size of a cuckoo I obsarved back an' forrid in the bushes aback o' the house this very evenin'," sez he.

"Well, by the patch on my breeches," sez Donal, sez he, "an' that's a fairly sizeable oath, if it was a cuckoo ye saw, an' if she thries to give us any o' her lingo in this naybourbood for a good seven weeks to come yet, she'll be afther wishin' her mother was dead-born, when I have finished with her," sez he.

But, patience saize me, if the words was well out of his mouth, when "Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!" was called three siviral times from the bush at the end o' the house, an' the masther looked at Donal, an' Donal raiched for the loaded gun that was standin' in a corner; an' afore one o' the company could say "Do, Donal," or "Don't, Donal," he was out through the window, an' up with the gun to his shouldher, an' lets bang at the bush the cuckoo—if it was thrue for her—called from, an' down tumbles his masther's ould mother, head foremost, out of the tree, as dead as a salted herrin'.

An', och, there was then the roolie-boolie.

[185] "Och, ye tarnation black-hearted rascal ye," sez the masther, sez he, "ye have done it at last, ye have done it at last! Me poor innocent ould mother!" sez he. "Och, ye murdherin' scoundhril ye, that has murdher in yer heart, murdher on yer face, an'—worse nor all—murdher on yer villainous hands!"

"Aisy, aisy, avic," sez Donal, sez he, "surely ye're not by any mains displaised with me, are ye?" sez he.

"Displaised with ye?" sez the masther, sez he, black in the face—"Is it displaised with ye? I'm not more displaised," sez he, "with the Ould Fella below, himself," sez he, "than I am with ye, ye villain ye!" sez he.

"Thank ye for that," sez Donal, sez he, dancin' with delight. "Down on yer knees," sez he, "till I get them handsome pair o' lugs off ye. You took off my poor brother Myles's lugs, an' I swore I'd be revenged on ye; so ye see I kept me oath," sez he.

So, there the ould masther had nothin' for it but go down on his two knees till Donal got the wool-shears an' clipped the two lugs bare off o' him; an' then gettin' his wages an' his [186] fifty poun' over an' above, he tied up his kit in his red handkerchief, slung his handkerchief on the point of his stick, put his stick over his shouldher, an' whistlin' "The Girl I Left Behind Me," started to home an' to Myles; an' there he foun' Myles an' the farm just as he left them; an' he then with his money bought a naybourin' bit o' lan' that lay into his own, an' himself an' Myles lived the rest o' their lives in full an' plinty, as happy as the day was long. An' that's the end o' Myles McGarry an' Donal McGarry.


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