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dark-haired girl bent her face Before she was back, Johnny lower over the wool.

had moved from his chair and “Is it Johnny you have with contrived to seat himself next you ?" asked James M‘Cormick, to her. Robert uncorked the stooping to lift a coal and kin- bottle with the same air of dle his pipe. “There was word ritual observance, filled a glass he was to come back.”

and handed it to M'Cormick, “ Just Johnny,

Johnny," answered then another to his wife, who Robert.

took it with some protesta“Och, poor Johnny! Bring tion. Then filling another, him in, surely then, and wel- “Here, Johnny,” he said, "give come,” said Mrs M'Cormick. that to Mary, and make her

Johnny is still welcome in drink success to you." this house."

Johnny offered it.
Robert turned to the door, then,

then,” she answered.

« Drink went out into the light stream- it yourself, Johnny. But I'm ing from it, and beckoned; then wishing you good fortune in re-entered, with Johnny at his your journey-indeed I am.” back. The household was on

“Well, here's luck," said its feet now to greet the new- Robert raising his glass, and comer, and he went round "Here's luck" was the answer. shaking hands with each in “And so you're for leaving turn.

us, Johnny,” said M.Cormick, “How's Johnny ?”

setting down his glass drained. “Well, thank God. And “Well, many a one goes, and how's yourself ?”

there's none should do better The dark-haired Mary laid than yourself. And it's young down her carding for a moment Ogilvie that's taking you out. . to give him the same greet. Man, you're the lucky one that ing

has his passage paid and all.” “How's Johnny?”

“I'll hold you now," put in "Well, thank God. And Mrs M.Cormick,

M‘Cormick, “he'll be how's Mary?”

counting the days till he's off. "Well, thank God."

There's some think bad of “Sit down, Johnny, now, going, but Johnny has a stout and draw in your chair,” said heart.” James M‘Cormick. “Tell us, “Troth, then," said Robert, now, is it the truth you're for " whatever's the way, Johnny America ?

thinks bad enough of going But Robert interposed. from some that's here. He

“Don't let us be dry talk- doesn't want to go single, Mrs ing," he said. “It's not often M'Cormick, that's the truth of I taste; but surely yous will it, and that's what we come take a glass with me when here for this night—to see if I do."

we could come to some agree“Bring out the glasses, ment amongst us." Mary,” said Mrs M‘Cormick; As Robert spoke, Mary rose and the girl rose from her from her corner and slipped work.

quietly, evading Johnny's out

stretched hand, into the room ing on the rosiest side of adjoining the kitchen.

Johnny's prospects. But the Again there was a stir among faces of his listeners fell manithe wide-eyed children. “Look festly. at her running," one whispered “An' it's not for taking her to the other. But James with him he would be," said M Cormick and his wife noticed James M.Cormick. "He would them no more than the dogs be to go off, and her to stay and cats who crouched under till he would come back for chairs and tables. An Irish her, and her living with us, a household has few secrets. married woman and likely a

“And what kind of agree- child with her.” ment would that be,” said But Johnny, who had sat so James M'Cormick, his coun- far silent and somewhat sheeptenance falling into the lines ish, started up now. that a peasant's lifetime of bar- “Are you evening it to me gaining had moulded. “I'm that I would desert her, then ?" thankful to you, Robert, for he cried. “Or that I would thinking on us, but we're as not be fit to rise as inuch poor people as God ever made, money as would pay her passand that's the short and the age ?

Faith, and if that's long of it.”


think “Come now, James," said “Whisht now, Johnny,” said Robert, "you needn't be taking his father, “leave this to me, it that way. If you give in to will you? Sure, James is right the marriage, let you give her to take care for his daughter. whatever you think right, much Now, James, here's what I or little, and we're content. I would say. If you're against was never one for them kind keeping her, and her married of bargains.

to him, let her come to our “ 'Deed, then,"

then,” said Mrs house and live there till he can M'Cormick, “and you may say fetch her. And if you're for that, Mr Corscadden. You keeping her, let her stay here. had never the name of a grasp You know the sort of Johnny ing man, for all you were no well enough, and I needn't great spender; and whatever be talking. But if anything comes of it, I'll mind that you would happen him, she'll be no were a good friend to Mary charge on you, without you since she was a wee thing, and wish it. Is that fair, now?” us not looking for the like of “Och ay, that's fair enough,” this."

James M.Cormick answered, “I'm not saying against it,” drawing at his pipe, and strivsaid James M.Cormick. “Rob- ing to conceal his surprise at ert's a respected man, we know so incautious

a bargainer. that. But speak up now, Rob

" But
still, now-

He ert, and tell us what you're seemed anxious and uncertain, meaning."

and looked at his wife. She Robert stated his proposal spoke then, filling up his pause. then, clearly and briefly, dwell- “Ay, Robert, it's a quare

But you

his own,



way for a girl not to be going She laughed and nodded. with her husband.

“Well, well, Johnny, go in needn't be thinking,” she said yourself, then. It's may be the with a dignity that answered best way; the young people " that we would want has notions

that they to put her on to you. We never had in my time.” would be badly off without her, Johnny rose and entered the and that's the truth."

door which led into the room, “You have no call to tell half closing it behind him.

that,” Robert answered. Mary sat there by the table, “But you see yourself the way still busy at her work. But it is, Margaret,”—for, like her, at sight of him she put it down he had lapsed from the tone in her lap. of ceremony into a sincerer “Well, Mary," he said awkutterance, — “the young ones wardly, yet with the pride of are for going, and if they are, achievement about him. The we have a right to help them girl looked at him straight now, -and then make the best we with reproachful eyes. can of it ourselves.'

“Och, Johnny, why did you “Troth, Robert," she an- do it? Why but you came to swered, "you may say that. I me?” don't know what way you'll “ Wasn't it what


told me make out without Johnny." yourself?” he answered, taken

“ Troth, and neither do I, aback by her tone. Margaret,” Robert answered would never take me till my her, wincing as if under a pain. father came asking you himYet his tone, now under com- self. An' isn't he come the mand, emphasised Johnny's night?” value rather than his own loss. “It's a wonder to me you “But that's not our question,” would bring him," the girl he said, turning sharp from said. Johnny looked in surthis way of thought. “Come prise at her, and seeing in her now, James, yonder's Johnny face what answered the indig, waiting Will you let him nation in her voice, he spoke in ask herself. She'll not get a perplexity, yet half in amusedecenter boy, if I say it that ment. should not, betwixt this and “Dear knows, Mary, but Cork. Shake hands on it now.” you're the hard girl to please. And he stretched his hand out. I suppose now you'll be vexed

James M.Cormick straight- because I took you on a sudden. ened himself in his seat, then, But I thought it would be a half rising, reached over and surprise for you. Surely you'll slapped his hand into the other. not ask to refuse me for the

“Let him ask herself, then. like of that.” If she says for him, I'll not be Her tone was grave enough against. Call her in here, in reply. woman," he said to his wife. “Indeed, then, it's not for

But Johnny leant over, and that, nor the like of that, spoke low to Mrs M.Cormick.


But if you came to

6. You





me first, you had no call to It's the pity of the world make this journey."

to watch him and the poor Johnny's countenance changed childer striving to work that suddenly. He flushed deep. farm." Words seemed to choke him. The attack was sudden,

“You changed your mind, wholly unlooked for. New then,” said he. Faith, a nice thoughts came and went confool you made of me.”

fusedly on Johnny's face. She At the pain in his voice the could see him wrestle with girl's lips trembled, her eyes them. filled.

“ Robert's all for my going,” “No, then, Johnny, I never he answered. changed," she said. “I

To the girl in her mood, in took any notion but the one. her growing hope and desire to But to be marrying you this convince, the answer way, and you going out yonder, provocation. it's what I won't do."

“He is, troth!” she said, “Are you frightened I with rising heat.

“ To be sure wouldn't be able to bring you he is. He would never let on out?” he said, still in anger. —not if you cut him with “I suppose you're not asking, knives.” Her eyes kindled, like James, would I desert her voice swelled. “ Didn't he

humble himself to the ground "Johnny, dear,” she said to come here at all this night? earnestly, still pleading with Well I know how he's looked him, “'tisn't the like of that; on, and how the like of us is troth, now, it isn't. But did looked on—and him offering you not hear the talk there is everything in the world sooner now against people quitting than you would be crossed. their own country?

Ay, his last penny he would At her words confidence give, to help you to go and returned to the suitor. He leave him-him that bred you, laughed, with a man's reason- and fed you, and taught you. ing contempt for theory, and Well, go then; and wherever assured now of persuading. you go, Johnny, I wish you

“Sure, Mary, there's nothing well. But I'll not go with in that but talk. Why wouldn't you—no, not if you had gold I go where there's work wait- in every hand.” ing me, and good chances. I

The young man's face was wouldn't be leaving Scotland white now, as only now he at all, only there's no chances realised the strength of the in it."

will against him. He had “Scotland !” said she, with come well pleased with himan accent of scorn. Leaving self to offer rewards : he was Scotland, is it? Is it to Scot- treated as a misdoer. Worse land you belong? Och, Johnny, than that, there was an echo have you no heart at all. Did to her words deep in his own you not take notice to Robert heart. But disappointment how he's failed since you left ? was uppermost, and he paraded his disappointment as an Mary's mother had that appeal.

dignity of carriage which is ** An' what use, then, is it for sometimes seen among peasant me to be going at all? Weren't women who live much in the you promised to me?” he said open and walk barefoot. It bitterly. “Sure, it's thinking replaces with them the lightabout you I was the whole footed, fragile slenderness of time—and little good I'll get the girl. But at that moment, for it.”

as the tall, young girl drew But the claim for


herself erect, conscious of sion found no response.

her beauty, and walked past " Ah now, Johnny,” she Johnny to the door, her motion answered, "you have no call was all a woman's. Johnny to say that. You'll may be be followed her abashed and a big man over there, an' come confounded. back here with your pockets As she passed into the kitfull, and wonder at the way chen among the family group you were brought up — the something of this possession way Neil Brogan did.” There fell from her. But her eyes was scorn in her voice; yet, still blazed, and James M.Corset on his purpose, he hardly mick eyed his daughter dubinoticed it.

ously. Ach, don't be talking,” he Begorra, he muttered, said roughly.

" What's Neil “but she looks the way she Brogan to me, what's it to me did when big Sweeney came if I get money? It's yourself asking her, and she hunted I'm wanting, Mary.”

him - and him with She looked earnestly at him. public in Crishvally. Surely "I doubt that's not the the divil's in the cutty.” truth, Johnny," she said. Robert, too, felt that with " You're wanting America her a force which he could more nor me."

not account for had come into Her tone was so significant the

He shared the that the young man paused confusion. . Well, Johnny,” for an instant and was silent, he said, turning in his thinking. The woman's mind chair, “what answer did you in her had reached the heart of get?” the matter, stripped it bare, "Faith, then, I don't know," and it was new to his eyes. answered the young man, whose

“What do you mean at all, eyes still rested with fascinaMary?” he asked, with a hesi- tion on Mary, where she sat, tation.

demure enough now, in her Mary threw the wool that corner. “You may ask herwas still in her hands from self.” her, and stood up, with a light “Well, surely this is the

queer story,” said Robert. He “ If

you want me, Johnny,” went over and sat down beside she said, "it's not in America Mary. "Tell me, now, Mary, you'll get me.”

you and me was always friends.

a fine


in her eyes.

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