« السابقةمتابعة »
advice, assistatators pro
broke down &
woods surrounding Kilfana- a breakdown on this very road, ghan, the blue and violet out- and in less than ten minutes lines of the mountains were the car had been thronged by already growing grey and interested spectators proffering indistinot. An hour or so advice, assistance, and hospilater the car broke down at tality. It had been as diffioult & wild and lonely spot in the to restrain them from “slapmiddle of a notoriously “re- ping a cupful of paraffin intothe publican” distriot. Darkness machine, to see would it hearten had set in, and it was an added it," as to convince them that annoyance to find that neither neither the chauffeur nor I head-lights nor side-lights were needed a "taste of whisky” to in working order.
keep off a "fit of cold, or maybe Twohig, the chauffeur, after a & wakness." superficial examination, decided Remembering this, I deterthat the olutoh-diso was torn, mined to follow the shortHe was confident of repairing out, half-bohereen, half-waterit in “no time." I was less course, that led to Tubbernahopeful. Removing the olutoh- phooka, and to ask for the loan diso is a slow business, even by of a lantern. At every oottage daylight. With a small electric or farmhouse in Ireland the torob propped beside him Two- wayfarer, whether friend or hig was obliged to work more stranger, is always sure of a by faith than by sight. He welcome, and tea, I know, would was, moreover, inexperienced be pressed on us as a matter of as & mechanic, and the cold course. As I approached the mountain air numbed his dilapidated cottages grouped fingers.
round the ancient walled-in Four hours later, though the spring that gives its name to clutoh had been repaired, the the village, I felt there was oar still refused to move. something unusual about the Twohig turned his attention to place. The wind, blowing over the gear-box.
the chimneys, brought no whiff
of turf - smoke; no window Although the little village of showed a light. I went from Tubbernaphooka was soaroely door to door. All was silent. & mile off, and there were, be- There was no sign of life anysides, several farms in the where. vioinity, yet in all those hours Beyond the farthest cottage no living oreature had oome the whitewashed front of the into sight. This was the more police barrack standing behind surprising because news travels its rustio fence was discernible fast in Ireland, and the Irish against a dark mass of heatherpeasant has an unfailing covered hill. On reaching the i flair” for aceidents.
fenoe, I groped stupidly for the In the winter of 1914 I had gate before I realised that
Tubbernaphooka, “the well of the Phooka," i.e., a fairy horse that lives in the fence was in rains and the "a bit of disguise" by turning gate was gone. Inside, the his greatoost inside out, rafnarrow slope between fenoe fling his hair, and using a oap and house formerly was orna- he had found in the tool-box.
monogram of the R.I.C., skil. was already black enough from fully carried out in whitened motor grease for either & stones. Now the moon, sud. “Wran boy” or a raider. denly shining out, revealed an “If any of them raiders alteration in the design.
comes along it will be best Instead of the harp and for you, Miss, to hide in a orown, the pebbles depioted & bunch of furze,” he said. “I'll skull and cross - bones, and tell them I've secret orders below, in uneven letters, ran from the competent military an insoription
authority–Republican army" DEATH TO THE R.I.C.
-here he grinned—"and any
one interfering with me will There is always something be reported ! Sure, I'll go sinister about deserted houses Sinn Fein for the daration of at night; and though we Irish the night, and they'll not have ample opportunity for destroy the car on me then.” growing accustomed to the The scheme soarcely seemed emblems of death, yet they practioable; still, stranded and acquire a fiotitious significanoe helpless as we were, it was when encountered gleaming by well to have any definite plan moonlight on a lonely hill. I of action, and at least it offered was glad enough to hurry baok a chance of esoape should to the road and to see again the raiders come on the scene, familiar dark bulk of the car. Besides, that a respectable
On the road a strange figure citizen should be obliged to confronted me, rising from the disguise himself as a maleshadows. The creature wore faotor in order to ensure safety an unusual-looking coat, and struck me as thoroughly in & oap of light material, tilted keeping with the times. rakishly to one side of his head, Twobig cheerfully resumed gave free play on the other bis repairs, and for another side to a great bush of tousled hour or two tinkered away hair. The lower part of his with no result. I sat on the suspiciously dark face was step of the car, ready at a swathed in & muffler. I noticed moment's notice to plunge into his coat bulged over a hard my “bunch of furze.” shape—was it a revolver? The moon was hidden by
Instinctively I placed myself olouds, and a little ioy wind with my back to the car, and erept down from the moonthen I laughed outright, for tains, stirring the bushes Twohig's voice came from with a faint sound suggestive bebind the muffler.
of rattling bones. Overbead He explained that during plover called eerily; now and my absence he had made ap then the melancholy howl of a
com a distant aware, and without stopping torch and fror became are, that seized the ble angle of
dog rose from a distant farm. the oorner still more abrupt Gradually I became aware, and dangerous. sitting there in the dark, that Without stopping to think, the whole spirit of the country, I seized the eleotrio torch and that psyobio atmosphere which ran across the angle of grass, is nowhere more peroeptible foroing my way through the than in Ireland, had altered furze, and reached the strange from what it used to be. The car a few yards from the former sense of oheerful friendcorner. The toroh which I liness and careless goodwill waved was almost used up, was superseded by an atmos- but it flashed a couple of phere of mingled menace and times before giving out comapprehension. Irish people, it pletely. At the same instant is trne, are notably sensitive Twobig, a disreputable-looking to unseen influences; but I be- figure with his blackened face lieve even the least impression- and wild bair, oame dashing able “Sassenaoh” with any down the middle of the road previous experience of the in the full glare of the headcountry would be conscious of lights. this ohange.
He raised his arm warn.
ingly; the oar stopped dead, The night had grown very and the head-lights went out. dark and a fine rain was An awful moment followed falling, when the drone of & for me, for I had had a motor became audible, rising glimpse of the ooonpants of gradually to & roar as it the car, and they appeared olimbed the long bill from the to be wearing masks ! bog-road. Twohig, who had I was sorry then I had not been redaoed to carrying on chanced the strange car crashhis experiments by the light of ing into ours. Twohig's sage innumerable matohes, orawled advice that I should hide from beneath the car and recurred to me too late. raised his head to listen, Hitherto it had not struck
“They're up to no good me that I aotually was & raoing that way in the middle source of danger to poor of the night,” he exclaimed. Twobig: only for me he might "'Faith, they're going as if have carried ont his plan of the devil was behind them, "going Sinn Fein ” for the and they'll be into us when night, and thus at any rate they turn the oorner."
have saved his own life. Now, Our oar stood on a high thanks to my folly, the masked ridge of hill where the road, men were bound to know that bending sharply, followed the he was a chauffeur in loyalist curving side of a glen. To employment, with a permit the right the edges fell sheer signed by British authorities. away, to the left a rooky field They were equally certain to rose steeply, and a long slope discover that he had been a of grass and farze-bushes en- soldier, and had fought against oroaching upon the road made their "glorious ally" the Hun! He was indeed a target for case we had no lights. The death,
stranger gave Twohig & lift I felt bitterly angry with as far as a cottage by the road. myself, and deoidedly fright- side, where I hoped he would ened as well. Meanwbile easily obtain food and shelter, there was neither sound nor for the Irish peasant is the movement in the strange car. most hospitable creature on
However, I pulled myself earth. To my surprise, as we together somehow, and ad- approached the cottage, the dressing the denger darkness light in the window suddenly beneath the hood, asked, with disappeared. We knooked and as much arrogance as I could called in vain; nobody would assume, who they were and answer the door. where they were going. I At the next house a man had hardly spoken, when & was leaning out over the balfman's voice said in tones of door when the car stopped. unmistakable relief, “Turn Ho withdrew precipitately, and on the lights, Regan." And the light was extinguished, the head - lights flashed up However, he presently emerged again.
cautiously by the back-door, A small light in the body of and though he annoanoed he the car was also switohed on would admit no strangers into It showed that the men his house, I was able to persuade though their faces were darkly him to give Twohig some food, shadowed by oaps and mufflers and allow him to warm himself -were at all events not wear at the fire. ing masks. I felt immensely Meanwhile my benefactor relieved-and it was amusing was showing signs of imto find that the strangers patience. This was the worst shared my relief, for they also distriot in the country, he said. had been alarmed. The sud. Quite olose by, a police barrack den flash of a toroh in the had been evacuated, and a bushes, and the sight of small village deserted on Twohig confronting them in 8000unt of the prevailing law. the middle of the road, had lessness; the sooner we moved left no room for doubt that on the better. they had been ambushed by We covered the distance to raiders!
Clashagoppul at a reoord pace. The owner of the car said his Regan, the driver, dashed the way lay through the village car through muddy hollows, of Clashagoppal, some fifteen over stony ridges, and round miles farther on, and offered perilous corners with equal to drive me there. As it impartiality. His master peered happened, I knew & family in out from time to time, arging Clashagoppal who would surely him to go faster. The rain take me in for the night. battered our faces, and the
The chances were all against car leaped and swayed on the oar oar being fit for the road bad road till one did not know again that night, and in any one moment where one would
ORT, a.tion from my
find oneself the next. Round. burning in the main street of ing a turn into & sheltered Clashagoppal. I wished to hollow, a faint whistle sounded, telephone to my people at and we raced past a orong- home, knowing they must be roads : for a second I heard anxious about me; so my benethe skirl of pipes, and oaught factor put me out at the a glimpse of a long row of grooery-store owned by one men drilling.
Daniel Herlihy, a very respeotThe sudden slowing of the able man, who had installed a car, 8o0ompanied by an ex. telephone and electrio-light in olamation from my benefaotor, his shop, and who owned a made me open my eyes, which Ford oar and a permit, though I had olosed owing to the lash- rumour said he had been ing rain. We were passing warned to make no use of through a deep-wooded glen the latter. & few miles from Clasbagop- To my surprise, before I pul. Just ahead, a great ob- could reach the door it was staole reared itself rigbt in the slammed in my face; I heard middle of the road. At first the key grating in the look, sight, lit up as it was by the and the cheerful shop-window white glare from the head. became dark. I knooked and lights, it suggested a model shook the door violently-someof the rising son carved in thing gave way, and it opened. rough stone, the rays spread. The shop was plunged in coming fan-like to either side of plete darkness. I stumbled in the road. A closer viow a little way and stood still, showed it to be the stump unoertain what to do next. and roots of a huge tree Regan, who had evidently placed on its side, reinforced grasped the situation, followed with brushwood, and to all me. appearance completely blook. “Ah, Danny, come out of ing the road.
that now," he said; "sure Regan, however, must have ye've no call to be afraid this detected & weak spot, for after time. 'Tis only a lady wanting & moment's hesitation he to telephone.” He switched on rushed the ear to the left of the light; Danny Herlihy rose the obstacle, and though it from beneath the counter, lookgrazed the roots on one side ing foolish, and thrusting into and the edge of the road on the an inner pooket something other, it oame safely through. suspiciously like a revolver,
I fully expected a volley of He was profuse in his apolshots from the high rooky ogies. “When I seen the banks, but it is evident that motor at the door, I thought those responsible for the ob- maybe some of them Sinn staole had grown tired of wait- Feiners was after me perm ing in the rain for a chance oar, 'Faith, there's no knowir and had taken themselves off. they'd take a notior
In spite of the lateness of out and shoot ye: the hour, lights were still shoot ye dead, mi