indignantly; "and, in my opinion, I say that, in consequence of his conduct, the country had a good riddance of him. I only wish I could send you after him; perhaps I shall do so yet. I believe in Providence, sirra, and that God can protect me from your violence even here."
"In the next place," proceeded the Rapparee, "think of your daughter, that you will never see again, either in this world or the next."
"I know I am unworthy of having such an angel," replied the old man, "but unless you were a cruel and a heartless ruffian, you would not at this moment mention her, or bring the thoughts of her to my recollection."
"In the last place," continued the other, "if you have any thing to say in the shape of a prayer, say it, for in five minutes' time there will be a bullet through your heart, and in five more you will be snug and warm at the bottom of the loch there below—that's your doom."
"O'Donnel," said Andy, "think that there's a God above you. Surely you wouldn't murdher this ould man and make the sowl within your body redder—if the thing's possible—than the head that's on the top of it, though in throth I don't think it's by way of ornament it's there either. Come, come, Randal, my man, this is all feastalagh (nonsense). You only want to frighten the gentleman. As for your uncle, man alive, all I can say is that he was a friend to your family, and to religion too, that sent him on his travels."
"Take off your gallowses" (braces)! said the Rapparee; "take them off, a couple of you—for, by all the powers of darkness, they'll both go to the bottom of the loch together, back to back. Down you'll go, Andy."
"By my soul, then," replied the unflinching servant, "if we go down you'll go up; and we have those belongin' to us that will see you kiss the hangman yet. Yerra, now, above all words in the alphabet what could put a gallows into your mouth? Faith, Randal, it's about your neck it'll go, and you'll put out your tongue at the daicent people that will attend your own funeral yet—that is, if you don't let us off."
"Put them both to their knees," said the Rapparee in a voice of thunder, "to their knees with them. I'll take the masther, and, Kineely, do you take the man."
The companions of the Rapparee could not avoid laughing at the comic courage displayed by Cummiskey, and were about to intercede for him, when O'Donnel, which was his name, stamped with fury on the ground and asked them if they dared to disobey him. This sobered them at once, and in less than a minute Mr. Folliard and Andy were placed upon their knees, to await the terrific sentence which was about to be executed on them, in that wild and lonely moor, and under such appalling circumstances. When placed in the desired posture, to ask that mercy from God which they were not about to experience at the hands of man, Squire Folliard spoke:
"Red Rapparee," said he, "it is not that I am afraid of death as such, but I feel that I am not prepared to die. Suffer my servant and myself to go home without harm, and I shall engage not only to get you a pardon from the Government of the country, but I shall furnish you with money either to take you to some useful calling, or to emigrate to some foreign country, where nobody will know of your misdeeds, or the life you have led here."
"Randal, my man," added Andy, "listen to what the gentleman says, and you may escape what you know yet. As for my master, Randal, let him pass, and take me in his place. I may as well die now, maybe, as another time. I was an honest, faithful servant, at all times. I have neither chick nor child to cry for me. No wife, thank God, to break my heart afther. My conscience is light and airy, like a beggarmans blanket, as they say; and, barrin' that I once got drunk wid your uncle in Moll Flanagan's sheebeen house, I don't know that I have much to trouble me. Spare him, then, and take me, if it must come to that. He has the Cooleen Bawn to think for. Do you think of her, too; and remember that it was she who saved your uncle from the gallows."
This unlucky allusion only deepened the vengeance of the Red Rapparee, who looked to the priming of his gun, and was in the act of preparing to perpetrate this most in-human and awful murder, when all interruption took place for which neither party was prepared.
Now, it so happened that within about eight or ten yards of where they stood there existed the walls and a portion of the arched roof of one of those old ecclesiastical ruins, which our antiquarians denominate Cyclopean, like lucus a non lucendo, because scarcely a dozen men could kneel in them. Over this sad ruin was what sportsmen term "a pass" for duck and widgeon, and, aided by the shelter of the building, any persons who stationed themselves there could certainly commit great havoc among the wild-fowl in question. The Red Rapparee then had his gun in his hand, and was in the very act of adjusting it to his shoulder, when a powerful young man sprung forward, and dashing it aside, exclaimed:
"What is this, Randal? Is it a double murder you are about to execute, you inhuman ruffian?"