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Capt'n Davy's Honeymoon   By: (1853-1931)

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By Hall Caine

Harper And Brothers 1893


"My money, ma'am my money, not me."

"So you say, sir."

"It's my money you've been marrying, ma'am."

"Maybe so, sir."

"Deny it, deny it!"

"Why should I? You say it is so, and so be it."

"Then d the money. It took me more till ten years to make it, and middling hard work at that; but you go bail it'll take me less nor ten months to spend it. Ay, or ten weeks, and aisy doing, too! And 'till it's gone, Mistress Quig gin d'ye hear me? gone, every mortal penny of it gone, pitched into the sea, scattered to smithereens, blown to ould Harry, and dang him I'll lave ye, ma'am, I'll lave ye; and, sink or swim, I'll darken your doors no more."

The lady and gentleman who blazed at each other with these burning words, which were pointed, and driven home by flashing eyes and quivering lips, were newly married husband and wife. They were staying at the old Castle Mona, in Douglas, Isle of Man, and their honeymoon had not yet finished its second quarter. The gentleman was Captain Davy Quiggin, commonly called Capt'n Davy, a typical Manx sea dog, thirty years of age; stalwart, stout, shaggy, lusty lunged, with the tongue of a trooper, the heavy manners of a bear, the stubborn head of a stupid donkey, and the big, soft heart of the baby of a girl. The lady was Ellen Kinvig, known of old to all and sundry as Nelly, Ness, or Nell, but now to everybody concerned as Mistress Capt'n Davy Quiggin, six and twenty years of age, tall, comely, as blooming as the gorse; once as free as the air, and as racy of the soil as new cut peat, but suddenly grown stately, smooth, refined, proud, and reserved. They loved each other to the point of idolatry; and yet they parted ten days after marriage with these words of wroth and madness. Something had come between them. What was it? Another man? No. Another woman? Still no. What then? A ghost, an intangible, almost an invisible but very real and divorce making co respondent. They call it Education.

Davy Quiggin was born in a mud house on the shore, near the old church at Ballaugh. The house had one room only, and it had been the living room, sleeping room, birth room, and death room of a family of six. Davy, who was the youngest, saw them all out. The last to go were his mother and his grandfather. They lay ill at the same time, and died on the one day. The old man died first, and Davy fixed up a herring net in front of him, where he lay on the settle by the fire, so that his mother might not see him from her place on the bed.

Not long after that, Davy, who was fifteen years of age, went to live as farm lad with Kinvig, of Ballavolley. Kinvig was a solemn person, very stiff and starchy, and sententious in his way, a mighty man among the Methodists, and a power in the pulpit. He thought he had done an act of charity when he took Davy into his home, and Davy repaid him in due time by falling in love with Nelly, his daughter.

When that happened Davy never quite knew. "That's the way of it," he used to say. "A girl slips in, and there ye are." Nelly was in to a certainty when one night Davy came home late from the club meeting on the street, and rapped at the kitchen window. That was the signal of the home circle that some member of it was waiting at the door. Now there are ways and ways of rapping at a kitchen window. There is the pit a pat of a light heart, and the thud thud of a heavy one; and there is the sharp crack crack of haste, and the dithering que we we of fear. Davy had a rap of his own, and Nelly knew it.

There was a sort of a trip and dance and a rum tum tum in Davy's rap that always made Nelly's heart and feet leap up at the same instant. But on this unlucky night it was Nelly's mother who heard it, and opened the door. What happened then was like the dismal sneck of the outside gate to Davy for ten years thereafter. The porch was dark, and so was the little square lobby behind the door... Continue reading book >>

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