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the deep and shaded river; or when complish this sacrifice. She then hastening homewards in the twilight, looked in her mother's face; and with she would encounter her lover, and then dilated eyes, and a beautiful soleinnity instead of passing on as Nelly was of countenance she said, “I promise always resolved to do, they would stop you before God, mother, never to disand talk, and at last wander off together obey your dyin' words.” through the dark and dewy vallies, and “God bless you!” cried the mother; never think of returning till the lights “God for ever bless and guard you in the distant cabins had, one by one, my darlint child;" and the tears were disappeared ; and woe to poor Nelly streaming down Nelly's cheeks, as she if her father was, by chance, awake, as embraced her dying parent, and she she gently unlatched the door, and felt no pain at that sacred moment in a stole in with a beating heart, and vow which she was assured had sealed trembling, probably, from the damp her earthly doom. From that day to night air. Thus their courtship went the period in which she is first introon, more cautiously than heretofore ; duced to our notice she had but one for these night rambles seldom oc- regular interview with her lover, and eurred and were hardly ever disco- had avoided, as far as it was possible, vered ; but from this very cantion, as any accidental meetings. In this interwell as from the circumstance that the view she acquaintad the young man dreamy time of youth was now past, with the fatal vow which separated their attachment had assumed a deeper them for ever ; for in the first transand more serious character. But there port of their despair, the probability of was yet another stage in the history of her father's relenting never occurred Nelly's love, and it was occasioned by to either. Willy earnestly but vainly an event, which wrought an important remonstrated against the obligation change in her mind, or rather brought incurred by this act. For a long time to sudden maturity all its best and the girl languished in hopeless sorrow, strongest principles. Her mother but she was young and of a naturally died; but shortly before her departure, buoyant temper; and she at length in she took her daughter's hand, who sat some degree recovered her wonted beside her, pale and broken-hearted at spirits. When she reflected, too, on this first calamity of her life.
the consoling words of her mother " Nelly,” she said, “afore I lave you she occasionally felt half convinced darlint, will you make me one pro- that her filial piety would, sooner or mise ?"
later, receive the only reward she "I will, mother,” replied the girl, with could desire on earth. More than a a momentary firmness of voice, which year had now elapsed, and she still she could with difficulty command. adhered to her resolution of avoiding
“ Well achora, this is what I want all intercourse with her unhappy lover. you to promise me. I spoke to your This she knew was not included in her father about Willy O'Brien, and I promise ; but she saw the cruelty of tould bim, Nelly, of the hardship of keeping alive in his bosom a fevered biddin' a young crathur never hope to passion, for there was nothing in follow the ways of her own heart. eason to justify the slight glimmering of Now, Nelly, from the time I seen the hope, which was now the cold but sort you were, I never passed a day or cherished light of her own poor heart. night without thanking God on my It was some time after Jack's last bended knees for the threasure he sent visit at her father's cottage, that Nelly me. You have a dyin' mother's blessin' wandered away, one evening, along on you this mornin' acushla, as you the banks of the river, thinking of the had her livin' prayers ; and take my happy times that were gone, and wonword for it, whatever throuble's afore dering if such hours with all their hopes you, God in his own time will bring and rapture would ever return. It was about what's for your good; but till a soft and delightful evening, and then, darlint, you'll promise me never Nelly's thoughts being of an interestto go again your father's will, nor to ing character, she was astonished at lave him broken-hearted in his ould finding herself all at once in a wild age, when he'll have none but you and and solitary place which she knew to my poor little Tommy there to comfort be nearly two miles from her own him."
dwelling. She was alarmed at this, Nelly's white lips 'moved, and she and was about to return, when-sudmade the sign of the cross on her denly, as if he had risen out of the breast, as if praying for strength to ac- earth, her lover stood before her. She
was struck with something unusual in both our hearts is gone with them, sure his appearance, and the expression of we're only the fitter for the world's his face ; and for the first time in her troubles.” hfe she felt a painful uneasiness from “ Ay,” replied the young man, his presence. The darkness was ga- eagerly ; " but they're not past and thering fast, the place was lonely, and gone; for it's what I think, them days said to be haunted, and Nelly, it is to was never sent to be a heart-break to be presumed, was not altogether di us all through life. Is it them ould vested of superstition,
and happy days? Ah, Nelly, it would Bless us all, Willy,” she cried ; be a cryin' sin to think the like, or to "what brings you here at this time o' say after all it was a dark hour that night?"
we first met." If Willy had not been too much Nelly had nothing to answer to this occupied with his own thoughts he natural logic. She cast her eyes on might have been surprised, in his turn, the ground, and her lover's arm closely at the doubtful and earnest look which encircling her waist, she never reflected accompanied these words.
that she was now in the very circum“And where would I be, alanna, but stances she had so long and constantly where you are ?” he said. " Where avoided. would the likes of me be wanderin' " What can we do?" she said, in a but where the river's deep and the cur- low and faultering voice. rent strong ; but though you scorn me, · I'll tell you what we can do," reacushla, you'll break your vow!! Wont plied her lover ; “remember, Nelly, you?-wont you ?" he shouted and what was the first promise them lips laughed in the girl's face.
ever spoke ; and if you talk of not "Oh my God!” cried Nelly, shrink- breakin' the vow that was the begining back, as a horrible fancy suggested nin' of all our troubles-tell me how itself, are you Willy O'Brien, at all ?” will you break the oath that bound you
She looked round-there was afore the holy stars to be mine ?" help-no living being near. " Holy Willy, Willy," cried the girl," don't Mother save me this night,” groaned spake to me of that. I tell you now the poor girl as she clung to a tree to what I tould you then, that I'll never sustain her sinking form.
give hand or heart to another but Willy, whose strongly excited feel- yourself; but you wouldn't ax me to ings gave way, at once to alarm for go again' the word I gave a dyin' Nelly's safety, sprang forward to her mother! and sure it was as good as an support.
oath,” she added hastily ; " for our two Nelly, Nelly adheelish!” he cried, hands were locked together when I looking into her face with all the fond spoke, and they were never loosened, ness and anxiety he had ever evinced; Willy, till her's was stiff and could." .. sure I am Willy, your own Willy “Well,” said the other, a little shaken achora ; and is it afeared of me you'd from his purpose of directly urging the be? Oh ahone oh! me that loves you breach of so solemn an engagement, but beyant the world !"
you never think of what's to become * Ob Willy," cried the girl, reassured of me. You never think that the man by his fondness, “ I'm not afeared of that loved you so long, is not like to go you. In troth I know you love me on quiet and easy through life when be well ; but I'm easily frightened—and laves you for ever. Nelly M Evoy, not thinkin' to meet you here—that's there's dark days afore me, and I only what it was."
hope it's far away from this I may be Well,” replied the youth, “ I'm when the time comes that I'll be a sorry I frightened you, but I didn't sorrow and disgrace to my people.” think it alanna. I was meandherin' « Ah Willy, darliut," cried the girl, along here with a friend of my own, “don't say the like. I know it's a when I seen you all by yourself, and I hardship-och it's a cruel hardship; but thought it would be no offence to come we must only bear whatever it's His will and ax you how you were, just for the to send us." sake of ould times, Nelly."
She had hardly uttered these words “ No," replied the girl, it's no when she clung trembling to her lover's offence ; but I'm greatly obleeged to you instead of that. Howsomdever," "Look, Willy!" she whispered; for she added, sorrowfully, “ there's no use on the opposite bank of the river sat in talkin' of ould times—they're past the Ropaire Ruadh, contemplating with and gone, Willy, and if the gloss of a malicious sneer this interview.
Nelly was dreadfully alarmed ; for peculiar to that season; the few perthis person, as we have seen, enter- sons whose way lay across the common tained the most hostile feelings towards had long since past ; and Willy was her father, and the thought naturally still there, with a mind as gloomy and occurred to her of the possibility of disturbed as the lonely scene around his satisfying bis resentment by some him. He was obliged, however, tu immediate act of violence. The young assume an appearance of compostire man, however, did not evince either as he observed the Red Robber rising surprise or uneasiness at this disagree- from the glen and advancing hastily able intrusion. When the girl urged towards him. him to hasten bomeward, he hesitated
Well, Willy," cried the former, as for a moment, and she thought she ob- he approached the young man, "aré served him making some kind of signal you ready for the mountains tonight?" as he looked back once or twice to Ay, Barney," he replied, “ though where the robber sat. On their way in troth_" home he urged, with greater earnest “ In troth, what ?" cried the robber, ness than ever a compliance with his with some astonishment. wishes. Nelly, however, continued in Och nothin', said Willy, "only I flexible ; and when they were within a wisht it was well over." little way of her father's cottage, Why, what do you mane, man? O'Brien stopped.
sure it isn't afeared your gettin'." Nelly M.Evoy," he said, “ I ax
“ No,” said the other, firmly ; "the you, for the last time, do you mane
man's not livin' can ever say he seen that all the love that ever was between
me cowed yet.” os is over and forgotten ?"
Well, and what are you musin' "No, Willy," she replied, "it will
about?" never be forgotten by me."
" Why, then, Barney, I may just tell « Then will you promise me," he said, “what you promised once on this you. I'd as lieve now we hadn't taken very spot, afore we knew what throuble the job in hands good or bad.”
“ You would,” cried the ruffian, with His manner was solemn-it over
a scowl, at once fierce and scornful. awed the maiden.
Well, it's never too late--we can Willy darlint,” she said, " you may
do bravely without you, Willy, never
fear." depend the ould man will give in." 2. Bah!" cried her lover
, “ don't be other, drily ; “ but what is it you have
“Oh, I'm obliged to you," said the talkin' folly, woman.
You dont know what's afore us! By the light that
to say to me, Barney ?” shines, Nelly, it's to save yourself and Why, if that's the notion you're in, me from ruin I spake ; and I ax you I have nothin' to say to you, but to wish now, on my bended knees, for the last you safe home, and that no young time in life—will you marry me afore woman may run off with you on the a twelvemonth goes round, whether way." the ould man gives in or no?"
* Oh, Barney Cumeskey, you
needn't Willy," cried the girl, bursting into be so ready with your jeerin' now; you tears, “ I tould you my mind.”
know rightly it isn't for myself I'm The youth cast on her a look of the 'afeared. wildest despair.
“ Faith, then, it isn't for me I'll take " Then God be with you, Nelly, till my oath.” we meet again.”
Faith you may take your oath of He sprung to his feet, wrung her that, Barney, sure enough. But it's too hand violently as he spoke, and the late, now," he muttered, in a low and next moment she was standing alone melancholy tone. on the scene of this mournful inter Oh, the divil a one taste," said view.
Barney; "it's just the hoight o'good The next evening Willy O'Brien time. Go home, and never fear we'll not was loitering for a long time about the lave Nelly without a sweetheart ; and heathy common, which lies beyond the maybe,” he added, one she'd as lieve bills at the upper end of Glen Foyle. put up with as yourself, if a body might It was towards the close of autumn, judge by her sikin' for your company. and the wind was sweeping through Faix, it's the divil's way of coortin' the mountains with the mournful sound yees have, meetin' once in the twelve
month, and then frightnin' the lives out their mutual attachment, and her own of other."
early promise, had given him a right “ Barney Rua," cried his companion, over Nelly's heart, of which no forced with much impatience,“ do you want and subsequent act of her's could deto spake to me? If you have any, prive him. He knew she loved him thing to say, say it out and no more o' dearly, and that her happiness as well your jaw."
as his was sacrificed to her father's preTroth and Willy, afore I say it I'll judices; and it was not till every enknow whether you're a thrue man or treaty had been exhausted and failed,
that he determined on having recourse “ There's my hand,” replied the to the criminal expedient of abduction. other ; “I'll stand by you through He had, however, no intention of death and danger-that's for as far as forcing her to break her vow, but his I tould you at first."
object was by carrying her off to the Oh, by my song, that'll not do, house of a relative of his own, in a you must let me have my own way." distant part of the country, and by
“ Your own way, is it?” said Willy, keeping her father in ignorance of her with a bitter laugh. Faix, Barney, retreat, and every thing concerning her, dear, I know you too well for that.” to extort a consent to their marriage, and
Well, but it's what I mane you're to so ensure their happiness without any give me my own way, only I'm not to violation of that engagement which the meddle with any one barrin' the girl, if girl held so sacred. But notwithstandit ben't in self-defence."
ing all this he felt it was a guilty and Well, well, have it so,” cried the dishonorable enterprise. He could other, “and I'll trust to yourself, Barney, not reconcile to himself the idea of that you'll not lave Nelly without a being aided by the most abandoned portion."
characters in the country, and still less “ Oh, lave that to me; never fear, the terms on which it was necessary to I'll do the dacent thing ; so now here's purchase their co-operation ; for Barney what I want to say to you. I'll bring insisted, as a sine qua non, that he should out the boys just as the moon goes be paid, for his dangerous services, out down, and you'll meet us at the ould of the treasury of the wealthy farmer. ash with the horse ; and be sure you But there was no alternative. Willy take a rattlin' baste, for yees'll have a was of course resolved, when he set hard ride you may depind; but there's about the affair, to adopt the surest a light-footed chap of mine will bring means of success, and he knew there yees a short cut through the hills, where was none who could so effectually serve not a man in Ireland, barrin' one of him as the Ropairé Ruadh ; besides it ourselves, could folly you. So, off
' wid was a capital felony, and he might you now, and take care and have a have found it difficult to induce any dhrop of somethin' in to keep up your less desperate character to undertake heart, for, in troth, the divil a bluer- it. When he first proposed the sublookin' chap ever I seen at gettin'a girl ject to the Red Rapparee, the latter emwith a stockin'-full of guineas." braced it with the utmost eagerness ;
Well, maybe it's no wondher," mut- for, independent of his natural taste for tered the conscience-stricken lover ; all achievements in any way connected and if Barney could not sympathise with his profession, he was now rewith his feelings, he was at least con- joiced at the opportunity of wreaking vinced that no apprehensions of perso- such ample and terrible vengeance on nal danger disturbed bis mind. his old enemy M‘Evoy. He accord
“ Hut man!” he cried, “ cheer up! ingly urged forward, by every means sure the hangin' comes last of all, and in his power, the accomplishment of that cant be these six months any- the design; and frequently when Willy way:" and with this soothing reflection wavered and seemed inclined to the conspirators parted. Barney Ruadh forego the measure altogether, he was descended to his occasional retreat in confirmed in his purpose anew by the the glen, while Willy went to prepare instigations of his more resolute associon his part for the night's adventures, ate. The former managed to get over with as heavy a heart and as dissatisfied some of his scruples about the plunder a conscience as ever oppressed a novice of Aby's gold, by resolving to accept in crime.
no dowry with his bride.
He did not, Willy O'Brien had long endeavoured however, communicate this resolution to justify to his own mind the measure to the robber, for he knew that when he had at last adopted. He thought Barney's hand was once in his enemy's
coffer, there was only one consideration there's somethin' wrong up at your which might possibly restrain him, and place; but lie down there, like a gay he therefore appealed to his honour fellow, and I'll be back in a jiffey;" and not to leave the bride portionless. cautious not to disturb . the rest of his
That same evening M'Evoy had unhappy father, he stole quietly out, occasion to send his little son over the and through gloom and storm, reached river to his neighbour Cuineskey's; and the edge of the river, just as the objects as there was every prospect of a stormy of his suspicion had gained the farther night, he desired him in case he should side. He stood on the bank till he be detained any time, not to return till saw them joined by a horseman at the the following morning-an injunction blasted ash, when the whole party of which Tommy gladly availed him- proceeded, as he thought, in a difsell. The inoon had gone down, and ferent direction from that leading to lett the tempest to rage away in also- M.Evoy's cottage. He might have lute darkness, when Jack Cumeskey was been deceived by the darkness, and the awakened by the plaintive wailing of error might possibly have been strength. his yoat, which stood outside the cabin ened by a natural repugnance to ford door. Now Jack, like my uncle Toby, on chance a midnight torrent ; but at had a heart that could feel for a fly, all events he soon lost sight of the so he leaped up at once and admitted troop, and between the roaring of winds the trembling beast to shelter. Having and waters, it was vain to listen for any provided for its comfort, he stood for a sound which might inform him of the few moments at the door, as if to en course of their progress. Still he stood joy the contrast between his own warm on the bank, uneasy and doubtful bed and the desolate appearance of all how to act, sometimes suspecting that without, when he was surprised at his apprehensions and his conduct were hearing a number of voices mingling equally extravagant, but still unwilling with the storin which howled down the to return, while danger was probably glen.
impending over that home which the * Them's some of Barney's boys instinct of his loving heart bad led him that's out to-night, I'll be bound,” mut- forth to guard. At length, however, tered Jack, though he's far away he thought he could distinguish figures himself if he tould me the truth." moving on the hill, and presently after
The persons, three in number, now a light appeared in Aby's cottage. emerged from the obscurity of the Jack hesitated no longer ; but dashing glen ; and as Jack drew in and held through the river, he flew up the hill, the duor closed over, he heard one of altogether regardless of the danger he
was about to encounter. * By my song, boys, she'll have a The little family in M.Evoy's cotsoft night for her journey."
tage had many hours ago retired to Not a word did Jack say ; not a rest, but Nelly still lay awake, listening moment did he hesitate to conjecture to the tempest raging without, and or to plan—a suspicion of their pur- thinking of the last evening's interview pose instantly occurred to him, and with her lover, and the inysterious and stealing over to his bed-side he hur- sorrowful words with which it had closed. ried on his clothes with all possible About midnight her retlections were expedition.
disturbed, and she listened eagerly once • What's the matther, Jack ?” wlis. or twice, for she thought she heard pered little Tommy, who was his footsteps and low whisperings around friend's bed.fellow for the night. the house ; but while yet uncertain
" Oh, go sleep, Tonmy," said the whether there was any real cause for other, "nothin's the matther, only I alarm, her attention was attracted to hear the cow broke loose in the byre.” the roof. A portion of the thatch was But Tommy was not to be deceived. suddenly torn away. a cold gust swept
“ Now, Jacky, you may as well tell through the cabin, and the next mous what's the matcher,” he said, “ or if ment the horrified girl heard the tread you don't, I'll just waken the ould of a man on the floor. In a moment man."
the door flew open, ard in rushed the Whoo! you little divil, will you remainder of the party. keep yourself quiet, I bid you."
" Look to the money, boys, afore Well
, tell us where you're goin'” you mind the girl,” shouted the leader, cried the child standing up, strangely in a feigned voice. te rified by the unknown evil.
A light was instantly struck, and Well then, Tommy, I'm afeared while two of the men hastened to se