The Wind Bloweth
by Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne
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"See the moon rising, Shane?" she paused. She turned again.

"I got married, just got married; he was a good man, Shane. But I didn't love him. I loved nobody. I got married because he was a suitable and every one got married. And just the same way I accepted marriage.... And when he died, I was very sorry, but impersonally sorry ... as if something nice in the world had been gone ... a swan shot....

"And my little people, Shane, they were very nice little people.... I was fond of them, but as I might be fond of some terrier dogs.... I was good to them.... Often I sit here and wonder: Was I good enough? And, Shane, God is my witness and this garden, and the moon above, there is nothing I could give them I held back....

"You know how they died, Shane?... I was playing and my house went on fire, and the servants fled.... When I came back from the theater a policeman said: 'We got everything all right, Miss O'Malley. Your dogs, your piano.' ... 'Where did you put the babies?' I asked.... They said: 'What babies?'

"Shane, I knew after a little while that I cried too easily ... a little sweet rain of affection ... April ... I didn't forget them.... I wouldn't let myself.... And then I thought: God! if I had loved my husband my heart would have been like a cracked cup when he died.... And when my babies died, I could not have lived.... And all I shed of tears was a little shower of April.... O Shane, one isn't like that when one is hurt.... Do you remember David, Shane, when he went up to the chamber over the gate ... and as he went thus he said, 'O my son Absalom, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!' ... And he was only a man, Shane....

"Am I bothering you, Shane? No? I am just thinking aloud, with you there.... I never thought I could, with any human being....

"And then I knew, Shane.... Part of me was not alive.... That was terrible to know, like finding out a horrible deformity, or knowing you are insane.... And I began to watch people.... I could say: There is a woman who knows she is loved, Shane.... There is a radiance in her face, an indescribable something.... You remember the Bible word 'Shechinah,' the glory of the Lord!... And there were women with children ... that had lost themselves in the joy of giving ... would always have that joy of giving.... And it made me feel strange, shameful ... as though I had no breasts....

"I must have been a little insane then, Shane. I would go along the streets, looking at people, and saying: 'That person looks as if they would understand,' and thinking of stopping them with: 'Please, a moment, there is something wrong with me!' But I knew they wouldn't understand ... wouldn't believe it real.... Even if they were kind, all they would say was: 'It's all imagination ... as if imagination were not the most terrible thing in the world.... All that is wrong with the poor mad people is imagination.... Shane, I was like some poor cripple holding out his deformity to the passers-by, asking for help.... All he would want was money, but I wanted ... oh, I don't know what I wanted....

"And, then, Shane, I would go into a church, and pray, and wait, kneeling there, for something to happen.... It never happened.... Then I would laugh. People used to turn and look at me.... I began to hate them. I grew proud. I hated them more and more....

"I said I'd get back to work, and forget it all.... I was made as I was made.... Accept it.... I thought I could.... I was to play Lady Macbeth in Nottingham.

"You know how she enters, Shane. She comes in reading a letter. She is alone on the stage, in Macbeth's castle of Inverness: '"They met me in the day of success,"' she reads—Macbeth is writing of the witches in the desert place: '"and I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge."' I came on as I always came on.... And the moment I left the wings, Shane, saw the audience, a strange thing happened.... Illusion died, not died ... but was dead.... And there I was supposed to be reading a letter that had never been written by people who had never possibly an existence, before an audience who had paid a little money to be amused.... I couldn't read it. I just couldn't....

"Behind me in the wings they were prompting, whispering fiercely.... But I couldn't.... I stood there.... Then I said: I'll go off the stage. But I couldn't do that even.... My feet were shackled to the ground.... I seemed to have been charmed.... My hand fell to my side.... And then a panic came. My knees hit one another. My teeth chattered ... awful, awful....

"There was such a silence. The audience stirred, whispered.... Then some one laughed.... Never laugh, Shane, suddenly, with me.... I crumpled up. They rang the curtain down ... I stole away to Ireland.... Whenever I am not hating—enough, the thought of that laugh comes to me...." She shivered on her seat.

"That was only nervousness, Granya. Somebody got nervous and laughed."

"No, Shane, no."

"They talk of people laughing in the face of death. It's just a nervous action, Granya."

"I tell you, no, Shane." She grew vehement. "It's a cruel country, England. And Shane, they hate us Irish. As long as we are pleasant, witty, as long as we are buffoons ... but let us be human beings, Shane, and they hate us."

"Don't be silly, Granya!"

"I'm not silly, Shane. I know. They hate us because we have something they have not. The starved Irish peasant is higher than the English peer. He has a song in his heart, a gay song or a sad song, and his eyes see wonders...."

"But, Granya, we are only a little people, and they all but rule the world.... You are wrong. They don't hate us."

"Do you remember Haman, Shane; Haman who had everything:

"'And Haman told them of ... all the things wherein the king had promoted'; and he said: 'Yet all this availeth me nothing so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.'"

"Shane, do you remember how Haman died?"


She rose. Her hands stretched out to the Irish hills. Her voice took on the throbbing of drums:

"Oh! the Erne shall run red With redundance of blood, The earth shall rock beneath our tread, And flame wrap hill and wood, And gun-peal and slogan-cry Make many a glen serene, Ere you shall fade, ere you shall die, My dark Rosaleen! My own Rosaleen!"

"Poor Granya!" he said. He caught and kissed her hand.

She let her other fall on his shoulder for an instant.

"Good night, Shane!" she said abruptly. She moved swiftly toward the house through the yew-trees. In her pale dress against the moonlit turf, between the dark trees, she was like some old, heart-wringing ghost....

Section 10

He brought back from Tusa hErin that night a sense of dread. What in God's name had Granya done? To what committed herself? There were rumors abroad that the men of '67 were not dead yet.... In America, in the hills of Kerry, in Galway, there was plotting ... not glorious, but sinister plotting.... God! had they enmeshed her?

He had three times heard her sing the old Ulster ballad of General Munro:

Up came Munro's sister, she was well dressed in green, And his sword by her side that was once bright and keen. And she said to the brave men who with her did go, "Come, we'll have revenge for my brother Munro!"

He had looked on that as only a queer romantic gesture, but with what she said last night, it occurred to him that there was a deeper motif to it all.... She was often in Dublin these days.... Did they? Had they?...

If it had been the Jacobite times, or '98 or even '48, he would not have minded. The Irish might call these Irish rebellions, but in reality they were world affairs. James and the Prince of Orange were the clash of the ideal of courtliness and tradition worn to a thin blade and of the stubborn progress of pulsing thought. And '98 was the echo of the surge for liberty—the frenzy of France and the stubborn Yankee steel.... And '48 was another breathing of the world.... Even '67 he would not have minded. Sixty-seven was a gallant romantic rally, a dream of pikes amid green banners, and men drilling by moonlit rivers....

But to-day was different.... Revenge was in the air, and revenge was no wild justice, as an old writer had said. Revenge was an evil possession.... An exhausting, sinister mood.... The men who would fight this modern battle, if battle there was to be one, were dark scowling men.... The amenities of battle, the gallantry of flags meant nothing to them. They would shoot from behind ditches in the dark.... In America was talk of dynamite—an idealist using a burglar's trick.... There was no gallantry that way....

And besides, it wasn't an Irish war. It was a matter of agriculture.... A war of peasants against careless landlords, Irish themselves in the main, who had fled to England to avoid the suicidal monotony of Irish country life, and lost their money in the pot-houses and gambling-dens of London, and turned to their tenants for more, forgetting in the glamour of London the poverty of the Irish bogs.... It was contemptible to squeeze the peasants as a money-lender squeezes his victims, but the peasants' redress, the furtive musket and horrible dynamite, that was terrible. God, what a mess!... And had Granya been caught into that evil problem, a kingfisher among cormorants?

And if she had what was he going to do about it?

What could he do? What right had he to meddle with her destiny? Friendly they had become, close sweet friends—the thought of her was like the thought of the hills purple with heather,—but friendship and destiny are a sweet curling wave and a gaunt cliff. They were two different people, independent. Shane Campbell and the Woman of Tusa hErin.

Section 11

She had been distraught all the evening. Merry, feverishly merry at times, and again silent, her eyes far off, her mouth set. She rose suddenly from the piano she was playing, and looked at him. Standing, above the light of the candles, her face and head were like some dark soft flower.

"Shane, you are a very true friend of mine, aren't you?"

"Yes, Granya."

"If I wanted a very great favor, would you consider it?"

"Not consider, but do it."

"Yes, but the risk," she faltered. "I hardly dare—"

"What risk? What are you talking about, Granya?" A thought struck him. "Is it money? Don't be silly and talk about risk! Anything I can give you is yours, and welcome!"

"It's not money, Shane. And thank you! It's—it's this—"

"Yes, Granya."

"It's this, Shane. Would you—would you bring a ship for me from St. Petersburg to Lough Foyle, very quietly?"

"What kind of a ship?"

"A ship, just a ship, a sailing-ship."

"What's in the ship?"

She paused. "Guns, Shane."

"No, Granya. I won't."

"Oh, well," she sat down, "I shouldn't have asked."

"Granya," he walked over and caught her shoulder, "don't be foolish."

"I'm not foolish, Shane. If I am, it's done now." She smiled.... The air crashed out beneath her fingers. Her voice rang:

In came the captain's daughter—the captain of the Yeos— Saying, "Brave United Irishmen, we'll ne'er again be foes. One thousand pounds I'll give to you, and go across the sea; And dress myself in man's attire and fight for liberty!"

"You'll not move one foot from Tusa hErin!"

"O Shane, Tusa hErin's no longer mine, and I've got to go."

"Because the ship and the guns are mine, Shane," she smiled quietly; "my present."

With a terrific smash of the fist he broke in the top of the piano. The wires jangled in pandemonium. The candles fell to the floor.

"Hell's fire and God's damnation!" He swore at her. "You fool!"

She rose, her breasts heaving. Her eyes flashed.

"You've no right to speak to me like that, Shane Campbell."

"Oh, yes, I have. Every damned right! Do you think I'd let any woman go cruising around the North Seas, with a crew of foreigners, and a shipmaster she doesn't know.... I'll bring the bi—the boat in...."

Section 12

They left the city of strange ugly women, with great spirit in their faces, and great bearing to the body of them, and of slim cat-like men, who had great power in their eyes.... A very beautiful city of churches and hammered brass ... a place of high rarefied thinking and savage animal passion.... They left it on a July morning with the sun high.... And they sailed east, sou'east down the Gulf of Finland, until Dago Island was on their port quarter....

And they rolled down the Baltic Sea, sailing sou'-sou'west, until they passed Gotland, and they edged west again, leaving Bornholm to port.... And they sailed past Malmoe into the Sound, heading north for the Cattegat.... They turned the Skaw and swung her into the Skage-Rack.... And the wind held....

And once out of there, they pointed her nose nor'west by nor' as though Iceland were only a buoy in a yacht-race.... And the wind held.... The summer nights of the North were on them, the unearthly beauty of the light.... There was no world.... They were sailing on the Milky Way.... Only the gurgle of the water at the bows, the whush of the wake beneath the counter, held them as by a thin umbilical cord to the world of men.... The whap-whap-whap of the cordage.... The ting-ting-ting of the helmsman's bell.... The cry for'a'd: "The lights are burning bright, sir!" ...

Section 13

The gaunt Shetlands were on their starboard beam now, the dun Orkneys off the port bow. Sumburgh Head dropped away, and they headed due west.... The waves were laughing, the sun rose in a great explosion abaft of them.... The world was a very small place.... The universe so large.... At dawn the gulls chattered and whined, and screamed until they felt immense loneliness.... One seemed to be intruding in a world of white feathers and cold inimical eyes, and complaints in a language one could not understand.... So lonely ... so undefiled ... the home of the great whale.... Here was the world as God first made it ... clean and beautiful and absolute.... Up here steam engines seemed ridiculous toys.... In winter the sleek seal and the great white bear.... And the great crying of the gulls.... One thought of Adelina Patti's great singing and wondered did it matter a lot.

And they swung sou'west by sou' to leave the Hebrides to port. They were on the last leg of the voyage, and the wind still held....

"O Shane, it's wonderful...." She had come on deck in her man's clothing.... She was so tall, so slim, her legs so long, it seemed some pleasant feminine fancy of hers, not a material adaptation of the life on board ship. "The wind will hold until we get there."

"I don't like it," Shane grumbled.

"Why, Shane? Why don't you like it?"

"We're too lucky."

"It isn't luck, Shane. It's the will of God."



"Yes, Shane."

"I've just been thinking. Why couldn't you conspirators have chosen a better time of the year than August for landing your arms? There's only about two hours of night."

"Because, Shane, the arms must be ready for autumn, when the harvest is in. That's the best time for a revolution. And the arms must be distributed. And the men must drill a little. Now is our only time."


"O Shane, I wish you would be a little enthusiastic."

"Enthusiastic? At forty-nine!"

"Are you forty-nine, Shane? You don't seem thirty-nine. None could tell but for the little gray in your hair.... And Shane...."


"I like your hair rumpled a little with the sea-air ... much better than when it is sleek in Antrim.... Shane, you don't know how well you look on board ship."

"Ooh, be damned to that.... Mr. Janseen, get them to lay aft, and see if you can't get a little more out of that mizzen.... A little more pocket in the luff." ...

Section 14

They passed the Butt of Lewis, sailing due sou'west.... To port they left the Seven Hunters, changing the course to sou'west by sou'.... The Hebrides passed them like islands in a dream, purple, gleaming strangely in the sunlight, now a black shower whipping over them, now sunshine pouring in great floods.... Lewis went by, and then Harris.... North Uist where the winds blow so hard they have an old word: Is traugh fear na droiche air mhachair Uistibh: 'Tis a pity of the slut's husband on the plains of Uist.... You'll be needing buttons on your coat there.... They passed Rona of the Seals, and Benbecula.... They passed South Uist and Eriskay.... They passed the Ponboy Isles.... The islands of the Cat they called them in Gaelic.... Faintly they saw the mists of Hecla ... heard the curlews.... They saw fishing-boats with great brown sails....

Honk-honk of wild ganders in the distance, and occasionally the chugh of a diving bird.... The wind blew from the nor'west.... The foam snarled beneath the bows....

"I don't like it.... I don't like it...."

"Shane, it is wonderful.... God is with us."

"Hunh...." He saw the weather leaches flick.... "Don't let her come up," he roared at the helmsman. "Steer her, you Swede bastard.... Where the hell did you ever steer before? On a canal?"


"What is it, Granya?"

"Your language, Shane!"

"Listen, Granya.... I'm not playing a comedy.... I'm sailing a ship ... that's on an errand I don't like.... If you don't like my language, get below...."

"Sorry, Shane!" She said with a meek courtesy. She stayed....

They passed Skerryvore.... They passed Dhu Heartach, Colonsay, Islay of McCrimmin.... Iristrahull was on the weather beam.... They swung eastward.... Irishowen Head showed off the port bow.... On an August afternoon, they slipped into Lough Foyle....

Section 15

The soft luminosity of a summer night was in it ... and a little moon, which Shane damned.... Before them rose the outline of Donegal.... On each beam they could see faintly the outlines of the bay's arms.... The schooner moved under jibs and mizzen.... From the bow was the splash of the lead....

"By the mark, fine!"

"Luff her a little, a little more ... steady!"

"Four fathoms, no bottom!"

"Keep her off a point!"

"By the deep, four!"

"How's the bottom?"

"Clean and sandy, sir!"

"No bottom at three!"

"Ready for'a'd to let go?"

"All ready, sir!"

"The mark three, no bottom!"

"Lee—o!... Hold her!"

The long swish of oars, the rattle of oar-locks.... A voice rapping out:

"Rest on the oars!" And then: "Schooner ahoy!"

Shane's heart sank. He gave no answer.

"What ship is that?" The voice rang over the little bay ... found a grotesque echo in some cliff....

"Who are you?"

"His Majesty's coast-guards. Stand by. Coming aboard. Lay on your oars, men!"

And then ... a long instant.... "Toss oars!"

"Bring her into the wind!" Shane ordered....

A scramble alongside, and some one was coming over the waist rail.... A firm step on deck.... Some one was smiling....

"My name's Flannagan, Lieutenant Flannagan.... Sorry, Mr. Campbell, we can't let you land ... your cargo or your passenger...."

"I don't understand."

"Well, sir, we know what your cargo is, and my orders are not to let you land. And I was to tell you, sir, that you couldn't land anywhere."

"By God! I knew it would end like this.... Are we under arrest?"

"No, sir.... You are just not to land. I'm sorry, sir, but.... Orders!"

"Then what the blazes am I going to do?"

"Jove, I don't know. Can't you bring the cargo back where you got it?"

"I suppose I'll have to do that. But my passenger.... I can put her ashore."

"I'm sorry, sir. But your passenger can't go ashore, anywhere, any time, in her Majesty's dominions."


He heard her quick step on the companionway.


"Shane, are you there?"

"Shane, Shane, what's wrong?" She came into the shrouded light of the binnacle. "Shane, who—who is this?"

"My name's Flannagan, Miss O'Malley—royal navy—I'm sorry; you can't land."

"What does it mean, Shane?"

"You're beaten, Granya."

"Are we prisoners?"

"No, Miss O'Malley, just you can't land. And I'm very distressed to tell you.... You may not land anywhere, any time, in her Majesty's dominions."

"That doesn't shut out Mr. Campbell, does it?"

"I've no orders against him, Miss O'Malley, barring his landing his cargo or you...."

She laid her hand on Shane's arm....

"I'm sorry, Shane.... I'm very sorry, my dear—dear friend.... You were so good.... There are few—would have sacrificed their time and profession, and everything—to help a woman on a wild-goose ideal!—like mine was.... So please forgive me!"

"There's nothing to forgive, Granya...."

"I want to do this ..." she leaned forward and kissed him.... The lieutenant turned away. "And now good-by."

"Why good-by? I'm not going ashore. I'll stick."

"Dear Shane, you would." She caught his hand, pressed, dropped it. Her voice rang out: "But I'm going ashore...." She had swung over the taffrail and dropped into the water with the soft splash of a fish....

"My God ...!" Shane swore with rage. "Wait. I'll get her. Will you stand by with your boat?"

"Right-o!" Flannagan answered cheerily.

Shane kicked off his shoes, slipped out of his coat.... "This damned woman!" he thought as he dropped astern, came out, began to cast for direction like an otter-hound.... He heard her soft rhythmical strokes ahead.... He tore after her ... caught up ... reached her shoulder....

"Come back, Granya!"

"No, Shane."

He had decided, once he reached her, to turn her back by force, but the strange gentle voice restrained him. All this matter of Ireland, all this expedition of opera bouffe, took on again a strange dimension when she spoke.... All the time he had been foolish, he knew, and, worse, looked like a fool, but some strange magic of her voice made it seem natural ... the naive brave gestures.... One levitated above common ground.... Even this moon-madness did not seem trivial and a thing for laughter.... A dignity of ancient stories was on it.... The blue Irish hills, soft as down, the little moon, and the tide hurrying out of the lough to the great Atlantic.... A wrench of the will and he gripped her shoulder:

"Shane, please don't!"

"You're coming back, Granya."

"I'm not, Shane, and please don't hold me. I'm getting weak."

"You'll never make it, Granya. And if you did, where would you go on the Donegal hills?"

"I don't know, Shane. But please let me go, I implore you.... Even if I do go down.... Don't you see? There is nothing for me but this, or death.... My life.... O Shane, let me go!"

"Quiet, Granya!" He caught her wrist.

"Please, Shane. Please. I pray of you...." She began to twist.... "O Shane, you hurt."

"Quiet, Granya. Boat—o!"

The lantern of the coast-guards' cutter came nearer.... The measured swish of the oars ... the creak.... She began to struggle fiercely....

"Granya, if you don't keep quiet, I'll have to hit you...."

"O Shane!" she whimpered....

"All right Get her on board. Steady, there. Trim a little. Good!" Flannagan and a great bearded coast-guard had her.... The silence was broken with her little sobs.... He helped her over the waist of the schooner....

"Go below, Granya, and get into some dry clothes.... Mr. Flannagan, I'll take the boat back to St. Petersburg.... If Miss O'Malley doesn't land neither do I. May I send a letter ashore? It's only about business, and the place in the glens...."

"I'll take it and have it sent."

"Another thing; we want to get some provisions and water."

"Of course, sir.... That's all right."

"Do you think one of the country girls could be persuaded to come on board as Miss O'Malley's maid?"

"I think so. We'll ask the local priest."

"Oh, yes, the priest.... Another thing: do you think you could dig out a parson around here somewhere and bring him on board?"

"O Shane, what do you want that for?" She hadn't gone below, but waited in the companionway.

"You don't think you're going wandering around with me, casually, like this?"

"But it's only to St. Petersburg, Shane!"

"And then where do you go? What do you do?"

"I—I—I don't know."

"Better get the parson, Mr. Flannagan."

"Oh, but Shane—" she protested.

"Go below, Granya, and get those wet things off.... And get into women's clothes.... Granya!"

"Yes, Shane.... Very well, Shane...."



Section 1

He felt a little ashamed, a little shy, what with his gray hairs, his paternity, that there should still be a thrill in his heart, a sense of flight in him. At fifty-eight to feel like a schoolboy going home, it seemed—well, not indecent, indecorous. This thing of returning to Antrim had been a matter of pure reason, and then suddenly his heart had spread forgotten wings.

Without, the sound of Broadway had changed subtly, with the coming of the September dusk. The quick-pacing people had given way to the clop-clop-clop of hansom-cabs, and the tram-cars with their tired horses came less frequently now. One felt that a giant had been at work all day, and was now stretching himself, not lazily, but a little relaxingly. Soon the great lamps would flare, and the crowds would be going to the playhouses: to Tony Pastor's to see the new play, "Dreams," or to Harrigan & Hart's to see "Investigation," or to Mr. Bartley Campbell's latest, "Separation," at the Grand Opera-house. He would miss all this in Antrim, but Antrim called him.... Antrim, our mother....

And three months ago he had never thought this possible. He had drilled himself into a mature philosophy, saying: "It doesn't matter that I never see Ireland again. I am happy here with Granya and young Alan and Robin Beg, little Robin. All the folks are kindly and the country is a great country, and when my time comes to die there are sweet little places on Long Island where they can lay me within sound of the sea, and the gentle snow will come and cover me in winter and in summer somewhere about me the dogwood will blow, and the very green grass come. And perhaps some young children will come and play around my grave, and I shall hear their little gurgling laughter, sweet as the voices of pigeons.... And one day Granya will come.... Nothing is more certain than that, that Granya will come...."

But all the philosophy in the world could not shut from his ears the little piping of Antrim. He would say: "'Tis little thought I gave to Antrim and I a young man! And what is a town or so to me, who have seen all great cities?" And again he said: "Didn't you give up Antrim gladly when you got Granya? Wasn't she worth a hundred Antrims?" And his heart and mind answered: "Yes, a thousand Antrims!" But, a very queer thing, the little haunting melody of the glens would not be stilled.

And it came to him thus: I am no longer a young man. For all I look forty-five, as they tell me, yet I am fifty-eight. The life of the body is over now. That had passed, as a mood passes. And the mind is fixed. In what remains of life to me, I must think, divine, weigh. One prepares.... And thoughts must not be disturbed. To grow old in a city that is ever young, that is in its twenties itself as it were—it makes an old man cold and afraid. Old buildings he has known to go down, old streets are obliterated. It is a very terrible thing to be lonely when old, and to feel everything passes, dies.... All I have loved is thrown away, is of no use.... Everything old is in the way, and I am old.... The hawk-eyed commercial men go about so that the streets are filled with them.... And all the sweet things that were said in Galilee seem only a casual all-but-forgotten melody, and no revelation.... And then comes a horrible memory of stark Ecclesiastes: "The dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun." And old men remember the sorrowful things of their life, and how little happiness measured up to the misery and toil of life, and they had hoped.... But there were the words of the preacher: "Neither have they any more a reward".... And secretly and quietly old men weep....

But to grow old with the mountains and the eternal sea, and to watch the delicate bells of the heather, to know the quiet companionship of dogs—there is a revelation in it. No, nothing dies. And the moon rises and the mountains nod: Yes, I remember you when you were a schoolboy, running to be on time. And the green waves make a pleasant laughter: We are here. When you arise in the morning you may be certain we are here. The friends of one's young days die, scatter, are lost. But the mountains and the water are friends forever. One can speak to them. One can speak to ancient trees. And the leaves rustle....

And Granya had sensed it.... He might have known she would. Conceal it as he might try, a mysterious telepathy was between them.... She knew....

It was she who had gone to the British embassy in Washington, telling Shane nothing. He had heard of it afterward. She hadn't pleaded or given any promises. She had just flared in to the startled envoy.

"I wish to go back to Ireland."

"Unfortunately, the privy council had the matter of Miss O'Malley—"

"I am not Miss O'Malley. I am Shane Campbell's wife."

"But you are a dangerous enemy to the empire!"

"Am I? I had forgotten completely about the empire."

"There was a little matter of a shipload of rifles—"

"And now it is a matter of a husband and two children."

"Sure, Miss O'Malley?"

"I am not Miss O'Malley. I am Shane Campbell's wife. And I'm absolutely sure."

It had been so easy after all.

And now when it was true, it was hard to credit. Within two weeks the ship would swing to port around Donegal, and they would enter the bay they had entered seven years ago, seven years and a month ago, to be exact. He wondered whether it would be a foggy morning, or a great golden afternoon. It was a pity it had to be on board a steamship, though. He would liefer have luffed in on board a boat of his own, a great suit of snowy canvas drawing joyously the Irish wind.

Section 2

Upstairs he could hear and distinguish the feet in the nursery. There was the patter of little Alan's feet, and the stumble of Robin Beg's. There was the shuffle of the nurse-maid, and the firm light tread of Granya. Soon she would come down, after the children were safely to bed, and little Alan's prayers were heard. And they would go out to dinner in New York for the last time. It was a little pang to leave New York.... Ah, but Antrim!

He picked up his paper and read while waiting.... It was queer how he could hardly focus his attention on it, impatient for her as a schoolboy for his first love.... Always when she entered a room came beauty.... Well, she would come.... The type took form beneath his eyes.... The races at Sheepshead Bay: Tom Martin had captured the Twin City Handicap.... In Ireland they would go to the Curragh and Baldoyle to see the horses, and the Dublin horse-show, and the hunts on a frosty morning.... What was this? Heavy bets laid that Cleveland would be next President. The Irish wouldn't like that. They were all for Blaine. It was only the other night that Mrs. Delia Parnell, Parnell's mother, had attended the great Irish rally in the Academy of Music.... That was a mistake, mixing up Irish politics with American statesmanship. There would be folk to resent that, and rightly, too.... Too much talk of dynamite, and that horrible thing in Phoenix Park.... What an involved, emotional affair all this Irish matter was!... To understand Ireland one must understand Irishmen, that either hatred or love rule them.... Parnell, though, looked hopeful. No emotion, all brains and will.... He could not be side-tracked by preferment, or religion, or love for women. There was a man whose head was firm on his shoulders; he would never be wrecked.... Ah, here was something Granya would be glad to hear: Margaret Mather got a splendid reception in Pittsburg with her Lady Macbeth.... Whew! Cholera at Naples. That was serious! Not an over-clean people, the Italians.... Li Hung Chang degraded of his titles. Who the blazes was Li Hung Chang anyway, and what titles did he have?... And Major Kitchener disperses the Berber tribes.... How unimportant! Ah, here was something. Great gambling reported on the City of Rome. Ah, there was what he always contended, that steam would ruin everything. The great sea a resort for gamblers! In the old days, in sail, when a captain was a captain, he'd have had none of that on board clean timbers.... He was a little afraid the world was going to the dogs!

Och! Was that woman never coming down at all, at all?

He smiled to himself at how the Ulster speech came back to him at the thought of Ulster.... He turned to the paper with an effort of will.... An Indian outbreak feared in western Montana.... Stanley going to Egypt.... Policeman beaten up in Brooklyn; a tough place, Brooklyn!... American schooner arrested by Russian corvette for selling rum to Bering Strait natives: a very strict modern people, the Russians.... Picnics on Staten Island blamed for ruin of young girls.... And Bismarck and the pope still sparring. Did that poor German think he could ever get the better of the subtle Romans ...? Och, what was keeping that woman?

The light had become so dim that he could hardly read. The tempo without quickened. People were hurrying now, on their way to the restaurants for the evening meal. From the restaurants to the theater. Home to sleep. And a new day with the old work facing them. There was a fascination, a hypnosis to New York. He felt a pang at leaving it. It had been very friendly to him. And he would never see it again.... Ah, but he would remember it!

Section 3

It came to him with a sense of revelation that all his life he had been looking forward: always the new thing. And now he would be looking back. Always before guessing. Looking back now, knowing, or not quite knowing, but having before him material from which to draw wisdom, truth. All his life it seemed he had been gathering something. Now was the time to sort it, make it.... And then, what was he to do with whatever he had made? Toward what end? The paper he had in his hands dropped to his knees. His eyes fixed on the windows where the lights of the city began to shine, saw a haze, saw nothing. His ears, listening to the clop-clop-clop of the hansoms, heard only rhythm, then a faint harmony, then nothing.... Himself, within him, seemed to see old scenes, to be in old scenes. The little boy going down to the sea in ships, seeking an island he had seen in a mirage ... a mood of wonder.... There were feet, there was the world. Every tree was an emerald miracle, every house a mystery, all people were riddles.... Come, little boy, come and look! The instinct of the salmon for the sea. The river where he was spawned hurries to the sea, and his instinct is to go with it, not against it.... It deepens and broadens, and ahead is always a clearer pool, a more shadowy rock, a softer water-fern. It is pleasant to swim under the sallow-branches, and rapids whip.... And there is the lull of an estuary, and the chush-chush of little waves, and he is in the sea.... And now he must lay his own course.... The lure of the river has brought him so far.

And Shane thought: I was born a salmon in a river. The stupid pretty trout remained in the river, and the secretive eels.... And the perch and the roach and the ponderous bream, and the pike that is long of snout, they remained by the grassy waters.... But those that are born salmon must go down to the sea....

A little shadow came into his face, and his breath was caught sharp. He was remembering Moyra, the wife he had, and he no older than a boy.... Like some strange fascination, ugly dream that came to him.... And queerly enough, the picture of Moyra's mother, the old wife of Louth, was clearer in his mind than his wife.... Moyra was like some troubled cloud, a thing that blotted out sunshine for a while, through no fault of its own, but the mother was sinister. An old woman keening, and the breath of whisky on her, and her eyes sobering in a bitter greed.... Why should Moyra have died? Fate: the act of God: whatever you care to call it. Why should he have been dragged into it, Shane wondered. If he hadn't, what would have happened? He didn't know. But he knew this, that in the marriage to Moyra he had been gripped by the shoulder, and looked in the eyes, and a voice had said: "Wait. All is not wonder and mystery. Life is not a child's toy. You must learn."

Poor Moyra, he could hardly remember anything but her pleading, half-inimical eyes, her mouth that twisted easily to anger, her shame that her hands and feet were uncouth. And now she had loved him. And now hated him. He remembered one May evening when suddenly she had caught his hand and kissed it, and pressed it to her heart. And later that night she had cursed bitterly at him, saying black was the day she had set eyes on him, and black the day she married him, and her face was twisted into agonized ugliness. And when he went to sea a few days later he had found a symbol of her religion, an Agnus Dei, sewed into his coat to protect him against the terrors of the deep waters.

And she had died, poor tortured Moyra, suddenly. Why? Had What had fashioned her thought: That's not rightly done? No. That's poor. Wait. I'll do it over....

Ah, well, God give her peace, wherever she wandered! How many years had it taken to get over, not her death, but their being married? A long time. Seven bitter years. He might have turned into a bitter, fierce old man, hating all things. The whole thing had been like a cruelty to a happy wondering child. And he had closed his heart, resentful, afraid.... And then had come Claire-Anne.

Once he had been a child with wondering gray eyes, and life had made him blind as a mole, secretive as a badger, timid of the world as the owl is timid of daylight. The shock of Claire-Anne, and he was cognizant of great enveloping currents of life. Wonder he had known, and bitterness he had known, but the immense forces that wind the stars as a clock is wound he had not known.... And with Claire-Anne they had burst about him like thunder. They had played around him as the corposant flickers around the mast-head of a ship.... Poor Claire-Anne! The miracle of her. She was like some flowering bush in an arctic waste.... Her wonderful scared eyes, her tortured self.... It was a very strange thing that her end did not bother him.... A gesture of youth, that sudden snap of the wrist with the poor dead prince's dagger.... He had been very honest about it, and it did not bother him, any more than it would have been on his conscience to have shot a crippled horse.... Once it had seemed to him unnecessarily histrionic, but now he knew it was merciful.... Her spirit had gone too far ever to return to normal life....

But the little woman of the East, that did bother him. In boyhood he had known the wonder of life. In youth he had known there existed sordid tragedy. In young manhood passion had crashed like lightning.... And then he had thought he knew all. He had considered himself the master of life and said: "I will do such and such a thing and be happy. Enjoy this, because I know how to enjoy it. To the wise man, all is a pleasant hedonism." It struck, him at the time how terribly foolish and piteous great men were.... Jesus dead on a crucifix; Socrates and the hemlock bowl; the earnest Paul beheaded at Rome.... A little wisdom, a little callousness would have avoided all this.... How satisfied he was, how damned petty! His little bourgeois life, his harem of one pretty girl, his nice ship ... smug as a shop-keeper ... and then life, fate, whatever you call it, had tripped him up, abashed, beaten, through the medium of a mountebank wrestler whom he had conquered in a street brawl....

And after seven years of blackness, and despair. The long reach to Buenos Aires, and the querulous sea-birds mocking him: On the land is desolation and pettiness and disappointment.... And what is there on the sea? The great whale is dying; the monster who ranged the deep must go because men must have oil to cast up their accounts by the light of it, and women must have whalebone for stays.... The sleek seal with brown gentle eyes must die that harlots shall wear furs.... And there never was a Neptune or a Mannanan mac Lir.... There were only stories from a foolish old book.... The sun shines for a moment on the green waters, and your heart rises.... But remember the blackness of the typhoon, and how the cold left-hand wind rages round the Horn.... And the coral islands have great reefs like knives, and the golden tropics lure to black lethal snakes.... Fool! Fool! We have ranged the clouds, and there is no good-willing God.... There is only coldness and malignant things.... So cried the querulous sea voices, and they tempted him: "All you have known is desolation and vanity. Better to have died a boy while the meadows they were green.... All before you is emptiness," they mocked. And they came nearer: "Behold, the night is black, the ocean is of great depth, immeasurable, the ship plows onward under a quartering breeze. A little step, a little step leeward, a vault over the taffrail as over a little ditch, and there will be peace and rest. Look at the water flow past. No problems there.... God! how close he had been to it, in the seven black years, the long voyage from Liverpool, and the sordid town at the end.... How close! And then Alan Donn, God rest him! had died, and he had gone back to Ireland, and met Granya, and been foolish as a boy in his teens. A shipload of rifles to free Ireland! What a damned fool he had felt when they had simply shooed him away!"

He thought to himself with a little smile that out of the wisdom of his life had always come sorrow, and out of his foolishness had come joy.... Granya, and peace, and meaning to his life.... A very foolish thing it had been, that expedition.... But he wouldn't have it laughed at, nor laugh at it himself.... Over the mists of the past the thing took glamour.... He had been more moved than he had allowed himself to believe then. And here in his New York drawing-room, remembering the old heroic-comic gesture, and remembering tragedies of material that were glorification of spirit, he thought for an instant he had solved the mystery of Ireland, ... Ireland was a drug.... Out of the gray sweeping stones, and the bogs of red moss and purple water, and from the proud brooding mountains, and the fields green as a green banner, there exhaled some subtle thing that made men lose sense of worldly proportion.... It was in their mothers' milk, a subtle poison. It crept into their veins, and though they might leave Ireland, yet for generations would it persist.... It gave them the gift of laughter, and contempt for physical pain, and an egregious sensitiveness.... So that the world wondered ... their wars were merry wars, and their poetry sobbed, like a bereaved woman.... They threw their lives away recklessly, and a phrase meant much to them.... Perhaps they knew that action counted nothing, and emotion all.... Ah, there he was losing himself!

At any rate, Ulster Scot though he was, he didn't regret it—apart even from its bringing him Granya. Perhaps at the news of it, some hard English official might feel a twitch at his heart-strings, and remembering that the Irish were as little children, be kind to some reprobate Celt.... An action had so many antennae. One never knew where its effects stopped, if ever....

A foolish thing that had brought him joy where wisdom brought him sorrow! Strange. Until then he had been existent, sentient, but never until then alive. Wonder, disillusionment, passion, tragedy, despair. In each of these moods he had had a glimpse, now and then, of an immense universal design, as a bird may have it, and its throat quivering with song, or as a salmon may have it, and he flinging himself tremendously over a weir. He knew it, as a tree knows when the gentle rains of April come. But that he existed, as an entity apart from trees, from salmon, and from birds, he had not known until Granya, broken, had crept weeping into his arms....

"Give me strength, Shane, for God's sake. Give me strength, or I die!"

And somewhere, out of something, some esoteric, where he had plucked strength and given it to her, and he knew it wasn't from his body, or from his mind, or his spirit even, he had given it. He had, from some tremendous storehouse, got life for her, got peace, so that she fluttered like a pigeon and sighed and grew calm.... And in that moment he knew he was alive.

He tried to figure it to himself in terms of concrete things, and he said: "If I were a racing-boat now, I would decide how to make a certain buoy, and my mind would figure how to get there, what tack to make, the exact moment of breaking out the spinnaker rounding the mark. Perhaps my mind is nothing, something I use just now, as I use my body. For the hand on the rudder is not I. It is something I am using to hold that rudder. As I might lash it with a rope, if I were so minded. And my eyes are just something I use. They are just like the indicators on the stays; they and the indicators are one, to tell me how the wind shifts. All that is not I. It is something I use. Perhaps even my mind is something I use, as I use my hands. But somewhere, somewhere within me, is I."

And a great sense of exaltation and wonder and dignity swept through every fiber of him at the thought of this: new-born he was, clean as a trout, naked as a knife, strong as the sea. He was one of the lords of the kindly trees, masters of the pretty flowers: the little animals of God were given him, it being known he would not abuse the gift.... And though lightning should strike him yet he would not die, but put off his body like a rent garment.... And though he were to meet the savage bear in the forest, and have no means of conquering it, yet were he to become aware of this entity of life in him, he would smile at the thought of physical danger, and the great furry thing would recognize that dignity and be abashed.... And there was no more wonder, or mystery, or fear, only beauty.... The moon was not any more a mystery, but a place to be trodden one day, were his place to be there.... And the furthest star was no further than the further island on terrestrial seas; one day he would reach that star, somehow, as now he could the furthest island with head and hand.... Though death should smite his body he would not die.

Section 4

A strange thing was this, that Granya had always known this life. It was so certain to her that it was no more a wonder than rain is, or sunshine, or the rising of the moon....

He had spoken of it to her one evening in the dusk. She had smiled, her grave beautiful smile.

"Of course I know, Shane. I always knew."

"But how did you know, Granya?"

"I think," she said, "I think all good women know, Shane. Men are so complete, so welded. Mind and body seem to be themselves; the body and mind function so that one doesn't see that there is anything within that directs them. They are compact. But a woman is diffuse, Shane. Her mind is not a man's mind; it is a thing she can use when she wants to and then forget.... When women sit and think, you know, they aren't thinking. They are feeling, Shane. It comes like a little wind. There may be a place by the sea-shore, sparse heather and sandy dunes, and the little waves come chiming, and the curlew calls. And you sit. And a very strange peace comes to you, so that in a low soft voice you sing a verse of song.... Or it may come on the cold winds of winter, through the ascetic trees.... But women are always cognizant of God.... Even bad women, Shane, who mistake the Unknown God for the true.... And a woman is very much apart from her body. It is just a nuisance at times, or at times a thing of beauty, or at times a thing one expresses something with, something that is too deep for words, as with a violin. And to some it is a curse.... But a body is always apart from one, and a mind is, too.... Shane, you have seen very beautiful old women.... Women with a beauty that is like a flame that does not burn, that have a light within them somewhere ... that is not of the mind or of the body ... that is of these things worn thin so that they themselves show.... See, heart?"

"But Granya, why must a man find out, and a woman know?"

"Shane of my heart, because it is necessary to women that they may live. A man can live without knowing God, as blind men live without ever seeing the moon. For they have minds, Shane, pursuits—the amassing of money, the little light of fame, that is only a vanity—not real.... But Shane, no matter how hard a man has to work, a woman has more terrible things.... There is no man on earth can understand the bearing of children.... And there is no man, were he to think of it, try to know, but would rather die than submit to what he thinks that terror.... And yet, Shane, it is not so much.... After a little agony, when one goes into the dark, olive valley, and strength seems to go from you in great waves, until you are robbed of strength as a man may be robbed of blood.... Then one goes out of one's self and gets it.... The beauty in the face of young mothers, of brides. That is not body or mind, Shane, that is their selves. This was the Eleusinian mystery, Shane, that women know that God lives, and that they cannot die....

"See, Shane, the stars are out. The dew is falling. And on the morrow you must be afoot early. Shall we go in?"

* * * * *

Once, before Alan Oge was born, a wave of panic swept over him, and he caught her hand and looked at her:

"What is it, Shane?"

"If—if you should die—"

"I shall not die, Shane. I know. I shall not die."

"But how do you know?"

"I just know, Shane. That's all."

"O Granya, it seems very terrible, that one day one of us should die."

"Dear Shane, it is not very terrible. If I should die, my heart, I should know I would not have long to wait. And I should be with you, Shane, even dead, when I could.... And after days of trouble suddenly one morning you would know you had had a good night's sleep, and that would be because I had come to you in the night and had kissed you, and laid a dim hand on you.... And sometimes, in difficulties, you would feel a sudden rush of strength, and that would be because I was beside you ... dear heart, dear Shane."

"I am so much older, Granya. I shall be the first to die."

"If you are the first to go, Shane, I shall be like some wife of the Crusades, of an old time when a dream meant more than a pocketful of money ... and men were glad to go, and women glad to send them. I shall sit by my fire, and when you come I shall talk to you in my heart ... saying little foolish sweet things.... And when I need you, I shall go out into the soft night, and call, and you will hear my voice in the Milky Way ... and God will let you come ... my darling...."


"And maybe—sweet, sweet thought—He will let us go together...."

Section 5

Here was a great fact, that he lived, but with the fact came a problem: Why? If within him there existed this sentient, supple, strong thing, and it did exist, for what end was it designed? It was not enough to have faith, to know one lived to save one's soul.... That was selfish, and selfishness was an unpardonable thing, the sin against the Holy Spirit. That has ordained there should be one occult purpose.... No, everything had a reason.... The sheltering trees, the ocean from whose womb came the great clouds that nurtured the green grass: the winds that were like gigantic brooms. The wise and the good labored, and never shirked.... Each man must give according to his station, the strong man of strength, the wise one of wisdom; the one who knew beauty must give it somehow, not huddle it like a miser's hoard.... All men must work; that was as natural an instinct as the law that men must eat: and work did not mean grinding, but justifying one's existence fully.... None may hold back, for that is ignoble, and all that is ignoble dies, dies and is used again.... The murderer's dead body may nurture a green bay-tree, such beautiful economy nature has.... And it seemed to him that the souls of dark men were used, too, but used as negations, and that was death.... Perhaps they provided the sinister thunderstorms, the terrible typhoon, the cold polar breezes, the storms off the Horn.... They might be the counterpoint of nature's harmony.... But this was going past knowledge, and past knowledge of heart and head one must not go.... But of one thing he was certain; all that is ignoble dies....

He had always known from the time he was a young boy that man must do something.... It was not sufficient to make a little money and sit down and spend it, as a dog finds a bone and gnaws it, or buries it, in a solitary place.... For a long time he had thought it sufficient to do the little commerce of the world.... But that was not sufficient.... In Buenos Aires he had felt ridiculous, as a giant might feel ridiculous carrying little stones for the making of a grocer's house.... Ashamed, a little resentful! He was like a dumb paralytic with flaming words in his heart and brain, and he could not write them, not even speak them aloud....

But all his life this had worried him, the getting of work to do. And when he came to America with Granya he had come with great plans. Ships and ship-building were the only things he knew, and he had thought with others that the great clipper days might be revived. Iron steamships were grasping the swift commerce of the world, but there were errands great wooden ships under skysails might yet be supreme in, the grain trade of San Francisco, for instance. And it might be possible, so he had dreamed, that once more the great pre-war clippers should be the pride of the new idealistic commonwealth ... and what had come from his hand? A half-dozen three-masted schooners, and not very good schooners either, being too long in the hull for strength.... And nobody seemed to care.... From Belfast and the Clyde, iron boats swarmed like flies.... And people were impatient.... They did not care to wait if a ship were blown from her course.... They wanted ships on time.... People had laughed at him, calling him crazy, and saying he was trying to stem progress.... And then they had done worse.... They had smiled and said it was a hobby of his.... He knew it was no use. He quit.... And Granya had been very tender.

"You mustn't mind, Shane. It was very lovely of you to dream and act.... But it is not intended. Don't take it to heart, dearest."

"All my life, Granya, I have been trying to do something, and I always fail."

"Dear Shane, you never fail. The success is in yourself, not outside of yourself. That is all."

"Ah, yes, Granya, but that is not enough. That seems so selfish. So many men have done so much for the world, and I have done nothing. Even the old charwoman on her knees scrubbing floors has done more. She has given her best, and her best has been useful."

"But, Shane, you must wait. Have patience."

"I am old, Granya, and have done nothing."

"Wait, Shane, wait. I am going to dim the light, and blur all these things around us, and tell you a secret thought has been deep in my heart for years. There will be we two just in the room—absolute. And come nearer the fire, dear Shane, where I can just see where your hand is, and put my hand on it when the thought makes me feel like a child in a great wood.... Shane....

"You know your charts, the charts you use and you at sea, the charts of the heavens, where what stars we know are marked, the sun and the moon and Venus and Jupiter, and Sirius the dog star, and Saturn, and the star you steer your ship by, the polar star.... And all the constellations, the Milky Way, and the belt of Orion, and the Plow and the Great Bear and the great glory you see when you pass the line, the Southern Cross ... and the little stars you have no names for, but mark them on your chart with quaint Greek letters.... Our little world is so little, so pathetically little in this immensity.... It is as though we were living on the smallest of islands, like some of the islands you have known and you on board ship following the moon down the West—Saba, where the Dutch are in the Caribbean, or Grenada, the very little island.... And on that island they know only vaguely that such great lands as Africa and Europe and Asia are.... They don't know it from experience.... But Peking of the bells exists, and stately Madrid, and Paris that is a blaze of light, and London where the fog rolls inland from the sea.... Heart of my heart, how terrible it is that cannot, will not see, understand.... And they say: Well, we don't see it. Here we were born and here we die.... And they say: Show us somebody who has been there.... They forget how long is the journey and how a man may have affairs in the crowning cities.... Dearest, I am losing myself, but I know.

"And this is what I want to tell you, Shane, that when you die—oh, such an ugly word that is, Shane, for the bud bursting into flower—when it is your time to leave here, Shane, there will be a place for you, not idleness at all.... All the stars, Shane, the valleys of the moon.... There is work, Shane dear. Nothing is perfect, else there should be no reason for life. There must be stars that are old, as Dublin is old, and need vitality.... There must be stars that are young and cruel, as this city is young and cruel, and need sweet strength.... But I am very presumptuous, Shane, to try and fathom the Great Master's plan.... It is so colorless—oh, there is no word or symbol for it, Shane.... But there is a Great Master and there is a Plan....

"Heart, I tell you this, showing all my weakness of thought. You know it is the truth, too.... But I tell you I know, so that our two selves' knowing may make it a little stronger in us....

"O Shane, I have no logic, but I know.... And all the logicians in the world could not shame me to myself. All the reason in the world could not shake me. It would be artillery shot against the wind.... A star is a promise to me, Shane, and the wind a token, and the new moon just a pleasant occurrence, like the coming of spring....

"Shane, I know all this. I know it not for myself but for you.... I know three things: I know God lives, I know I love you, I know we shall not die.... I love you, Shane, and there is no shame on me telling it to you, for you are as my heart and I am as yours.... When I see you at times there comes over me a sweetness from head to foot, and at times when I see you, a great dignity comes to me, because you love me, and your love is good.... I know there is a place in the coming days, and I know I shall be with you, wherever you go....

"Here in this dim room, Shane, I know these things. Outside is the world, that is forgetting or that doesn't care, or will not see. Here in this dim room, with the red of the fire turning to a gentle yellow, I know it better than the people in churches, that kindly God lives, that I love you, Shane, and that we shall not die...."

Section 6

It seemed to him that he must have been in reverie for ages, so much had he thought sitting there, so much felt.... He had been like a gull poised on the wing, and now he dropped gently to the calm waters.... New York to-day, and in two weeks Antrim, and then a rest.... And then wider spaces than he had ever known, greater adventure.... A day would come when he would be called, as though some one had said: Shane Campbell! and then a gesture that made a horse stumble, or a flaw of wind that would turn over a boat.... Click!...

And it seemed to him that it would be not only sweeter, but wiser to die in Antrim.... New York was no place for a man like him to die. For an old man, weary with life's work, there would be gentle hands, and soft caring, and guidance for tired eyes.... But for a man young spiritually, strong, there would be no coddling.... He would be expected to jump forward at the call.... And to go through the maze of smoke and dust, and the evil jungles of the air one sensed in a great city would be—waste of time and energy.... In Antrim when the call would come there would be the clear high air, the friendly glens, the great encouraging mountains, and the Moyle laughing in the moonlight: Don't be embarrassed! Don't be afraid!

Above, he heard a door shut. There was no longer the patter of the boys' feet on the floor, nor the drag of the maid's shoes, but Granya's firm light step he could sense somehow, and then came a little sound to him, that he knew was her dropping to her knees by Alan Beg's bed, while she recited for him, taught him, the great prayer.... Shane bowed his head in reverence.... He could see the dim beauty of her face, her great trusting eyes, her sweet hands.... Almost could he hear her voice, so close was she in his heart....

Section 7

"Our Father, ..."

He could see the symbols that were in her mind, because they were in his too, the gentle pictures that translated the thought these words evoked: the great majestic figure with the strong hands and gentle eyes, the eyes that smiled when colts gamboled, or a rabbit flashed across the grass, that loved the beauty of the garden when He walked in it at the close of day. One felt Him now and then as He went through His smallest world, perhaps in the evening when the crickets sang, perhaps over the moonlit waters, or with the little winds of dawn.... Such strength and kindliness, and the majestic eyes were troubled; for, sympathetic toward the wayward, the bothered, the weak.... They only hardened with the promise of terror for the hypocrite, the traitor, for those who devoured widows' houses....

"Who art in heaven, ..."

He smiled to himself at the thought of heaven. There was where one's fancy was free, to realize all the sweet desires of what was good in one.... To those who deserved it God would not begrudge His heaven.... A quiet place, Shane thought, a hushed place, a place of rest.... Whither one might go to realize again all the beauty one had ever known.... All that one had held sweet and wonderful would be there—they had not died.... A white magic would bring back the laughter of babies, and kisses gently given ... and all estrangements of friends and lovers would be eased there, and they would be brought together in a magical trysting-place, and there would be no unharmony.... All the horses one had ever loved would take shape in the air, with necks stretched and whinnying recognition.... All the great ships one had wondered at would appear when called, their spread of snowy canvas, their tapering spars.... All the dogs one had had would be there ... their yelps of joy, their sweet brown eyes, their ears up, their tails wagging ... all the dogs would be there!

"Hallowed be Thy name ..."

The head must bow there. The name evoked a thought, and the thought was ineffable, such glory and sweetness and strength it had.... Names brought pictures. When the word "Helen" was uttered, one saw the burned towers of Troy.... And "Venice," massive shadows and great moonlit waters.... And Genghis Khan brought the riot of galloping horses and the Tartar blades a-flash.... Such power great words had, and this was the greatest word, so great as to be terrible, and not to be mentioned by petty men, who cheapen with their grudging tongues.... No picture there, but some great anthem of the stars.... Not as yet could our ears hear it.... Nor would they ever hear it, if we had not reverence.

"Thy kingdom come ..."

Some immense plan existed, which human mind could never see. No practical wisdom could ever grasp. Were all the sum of practical wisdom gathered in a little room, and infused with spirit until it burst the four walls of the world, yet it might not grasp it.... Yet all things worked that this plan should come to fruition. The stars rolled in their courses. The great winds came. There fell the rain of April and the soft December snow.... And the kingdom was a good kingdom, for nothing evil conquered ever.... It died and was eliminated, and when it was all as nothing then might the kingdom come ... no arbitrary blowing of Gabriel's trumpet, but that foremost sweetness that comes from the west wind....

"Thy will be done on earth ..."

It was always done on earth, but the ignoble, the inglorious, the small put their petty obstacles in its way, and delayed the coming of the kingdom.... Men grew engrossed in their affairs, grew self-sufficient. A little money in their pockets, and God was forgotten. A little more and they despised their fellow-men, and hatred arose. And evil wars came, and years were lost.... Cunning men put the emotions, the ideals, the actions of glorious men up for barter.... And the men who were tricked brooded.... And the cunning men took the land and the waters and the light, and worked tortuously until they could sell them at a price.... And the things God had made for his people were the means to procure these dark folk wine and mistresses and the state of kings.... Such was not the doing of the Will.... But one day it would be worked out by men how these things could not ever again be.... The slow certain coming of the kingdom....

"As it is in heaven ..."

From the green resting-place came all that was sweet and harmonious, the shape of clouds, the high spirit of horses, the loyalty of dogs, the graceful movement swans have, and the song of the lesser birds. From that green resting-place came the gold of the gorse, and the sweet line of trees, and the purple the heather has—the loved heather. Thence came the word that set the friendly moon on high, and put out the white beauty of the young and alternated sunshine with the rains of spring. All was done there according to wisdom and beauty.

"Give us this day our daily bread ..."

That was no whine for the prisoner's dole. That was the simplicity of asking that the moon and the sun still rise. Give beauty to women, and grace to children, and songs for poets to sing. Let not the green tree wither, but send it rain. And give a little softness to the hearts of callous men. And remind us that widows live, and that there are fatherless. Teach us how to heal sickly children, and be easy on horses. And give us gentleness. And when roses grow on the walls in June, put a bud in our hearts....

"And forgive us our trespasses ..."

The picture that came into Shane's mind then was not the picture of an abased man beating his breast, but the thought of a mature man clanging through the halls of heaven past every guard until he came where wisdom and beauty was, and standing and throwing back his head: "I have done wrong," he would say, "rotten wrong, and I'm wretched about it." And there would be an answer: "You did right to come."

"As we forgive those who trespass against us ..."

Ah! That was hard! That was the most difficult thing in the world, the Celt in Shane knew. The horripilation of the skin, the twitching nostrils, the feeling for the knife in the armpit.... When one was young, the careless word, the savage blow, the brooding feud.... But men grew better with the increase of the years, and with maturity came the sense that not every one could insult or hurt a man. The jibes and trespasses of petty people meant so little, and one sensed the Destiny, the strange veiled One, balanced in His own wise time the evil done a man with unexpected good.... One grew wiser even yet with the years and knew that a great wrong was outside one's personal jurisdiction.... One had to leave that to the broad justice of the High God.... One could appeal there, as with the old cri de haro of Norman low.... Haro! haro! A l'aide, mon prince. On me fait tort! Hither! Hither! Help me, my king; one dropped on one's knees in the market-place: I am being injured overmuch! And it was the prince's duty to help feal men.... To forgive trespasses—only one understood in maturity, one grew to it.... The strong and wise were the meek, not the weaklings ... the men who knew that justice was absolute ... the men with the calm eyes and the grim smile, they were the terrible meek....

"And lead us not into temptation ..."

A little cry of humility that was, a very human reminder to the Only Perfect One that we in this very small world were weak. Work we had to do, destinies to fulfil, but under weakness, or from false strength, one might wander from our appointed path.... The power of office, let it breed arrogance ... the sense of money, let it not bring smug callousness.... And the singers of the world be proud only of the trust, but humble in themselves as the birds are among the trees.... And let not strength have contempt, but gentleness....

"But deliver us from all evil ..."

There were dark places in the world, and one needed guidance there, protection.... From Satan, who is not a spirit, but a horrible miasma, that floats in little vapors here and there, when the clean winds are resting ... from the warm inviting and evil jungle where one might seek relief in distress, or having been over-long in the high air ... from the twisted souls of dark men and women who seek to sully as with writhing piteous hands ... from deep sinister pools we know are thick with horror but feel charmed toward, as one feels like plunging to death from the summit of some building terribly high.... From these, Lord God, deliver us!

"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,

"For ever and ever."

- Transcriber's note: The 'o' in 'Froken' has a circle over it. It is not represented in this text. -


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