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Stories by English Authors: Ireland   By: (-1915)

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This eBook was produced by Charles Aldarondo, Charles Franks, Nicole Apostola and The Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

STORIES BY ENGLISH AUTHORS

IRELAND

THE GRIDIRON BY SAMUEL LOVER THE EMERGENCY MEN BY GEORGE H. JESSOP A LOST RECRUIT BY JANE BARLOW THE RIVAL DREAMERS BY JOHN BANIM NEAL MALONE BY WILLIAM CARLETON THE BANSHEE ANONYMOUS

THE GRIDIRON

BY SAMUEL LOVER

A certain old gentleman in the west of Ireland, whose love of the ridiculous quite equalled his taste for claret and fox hunting, was wont, upon festive occasions, when opportunity offered, to amuse his friends by DRAWING OUT one of his servants, exceedingly fond of what he termed, his "thravels," and in whom a good deal of whim, some queer stories, and, perhaps more than all, long and faithful services had established a right of loquacity. He was one of those few trusty and privileged domestics who, if his master unheedingly uttered a rash thing in a fit of passion, would venture to set him right. If the squire said, "I'll turn that rascal off," my friend Pat would say, "Throth you won't, sir;" and Pat was always right, for if any altercation arose upon the "subject matter in hand," he was sure to throw in some good reason, either from former services general good conduct or the delinquent's "wife and children," that always turned the scale.

But I am digressing. On such merry meetings as I have alluded to, the master, after making certain "approaches," as a military man would say, as the preparatory steps in laying siege to some extravaganza of his servant, might, perchance, assail Pat thus: "By the by, Sir John" (addressing a distinguished guest), "Pat has a very curious story, which something you told me to day reminds me of. You remember, Pat" (turning to the man, evidently pleased at the notice thus paid to himself) "you remember that queer adventure you had in France?"

"Throth I do, sir," grins forth Pat.

"What!" exclaims Sir John, in feigned surprise, "was Pat ever in France?"

"Indeed he was," cries mine host; and Pat adds, "Ay, and farther, plase your honour."

"I assure you, Sir John," continues mine host, "Pat told me a story once that surprised me very much, respecting the ignorance of the French."

"Indeed!" rejoined the baronet; "really, I always supposed the French to be a most accomplished people."

"Throth, then, they're not, sir," interrupts Pat.

"Oh, by no means," adds mine host, shaking his head emphatically.

"I believe, Pat, 'twas when you were crossing the Atlantic?" says the master, turning to Pat with a seductive air, and leading into the "full and true account" (for Pat had thought fit to visit North Amerikay, for "a raison he had," in the autumn of the year ninety eight).

"Yes, sir," says Pat, "the broad Atlantic" a favourite phrase of his, which he gave with a brogue as broad, almost, as the Atlantic itself.

"It was the time I was lost in crassin' the broad Atlantic, a comin' home," began Pat, decoyed into the recital; "whin the winds began to blow, and the saw to rowl, that you'd think the Colleen Dhas (that was her name) would not have a mast left but what would rowl out of her.

"Well, sure enough, the masts went by the hoard, at last, and the pumps were choked (divil choke them for that same), and av coorse the wather gained an us; and, throth, to be filled with wather is neither good for man or baste; and she was sinkin' fast, settlin' down, as the sailors call it; and, faith, I never was good at settlin' down in my life, and I liked it then less nor ever. Accordingly we prepared for the worst, and put out the boot, and got a sack o' bishkits and a cask o' pork and a kag o' wather and a thrifle o' rum aboord, and any other little matthers we could think iv in the mortial hurry we wor in and, faith, there was no time to be lost, for, my darlint, the Colleen Dhas went down like a lump o' lead afore we wor many sthrokes o' the oar away from her... Continue reading book >>




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