By Victor O’D. Power
I have a queer story to tell ye tonight, mossa; and I wonder how I kept it all this time in my mind, so I do, without letting ye hear about it. But it all came back to my memory this evening, and I taking a ramble for myself down by the edge of the lake.
Away in the west coast of the County Kerry, the O’Connor family lived for hundreds of years in an elegant ould ancient mansion – Rathconnor House, as ‘twas called; and you wouldn’t see the like of it anywhere, with its orchards and gardens and its groves and its walls covered over with roses and ivy.
But mavrone! The O’Connors were a wild family and fools for themselves, God help us, and none of them would content their minds to settle down in the old home and live in peace among their neighbours.
Nothing would do them, imbeersa, only rushing away to Cork and Dublin and to London and to foreign parts and they spending their money right and left, and the old home and it in the hands of idle, good-for-nothing servants who didn’t care a thraneen, so they didn’t.
And when myself came to first know Rathconnor House, Master Dick O’Connor and his beautiful young wife were living there; but, begannies, they wouldn’t spend two months of the year there, maybe, in the old home, though Mrs. O’Connor loved the place, and she was always trying to coax Master Dick to stay all the year round at Rathconnor.
And they had one child – Miss Rose – the sweetest young lady in the County Kerry, mossa. You’d be cracked alive about her, if you had to know her, so you would.
Poor Miss Rose! ‘Tis often I think of her, and I on my travels, and all her kindness and her sweet, sunny smile and her merry sayings and her bright laugh, sure it all comes back to me again, and the tears start back in my eyes, in spite of me. But here’s my story for you, and ‘tis no good for me to dilly-dallying over it like this.