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110 “Wexford’s up and the boys is ordered in. It was only this morning that Dickson sent round the word an’ in three days we’re to be ready for the field. That’s all acushla; but don’t be frightened for there’ll not be a blow. We’ll soon drive the fogies out of Antrim an’ then I’ll come back to ask the new scarf ye promised to work me with your own purty hands an’ to ask for somethin’ else foreby”. “Oh! Murtagh, is this the news!” sobbed out Mary, as soon as her lips were freed from the long, lingering kiss with which her lover had endeavoured to strengthen his own, feeble argument against danger. The unexpected intelligence seemed at once to justify and confirm the sudden fears excited by the cause of but partially abated terror and she continued. “Sure, then, I was right and it’s for you she was cryin’. Och! Murtough, darlin’, I have seen the banshee. Young Carroll shared sufficiently in the popular dread of such an appearance to accept Mary’s statement as quite explanation enough of her terror and with his mind already full of probable dangers before him hardly questioned her application of the warning. Sensible, however, that any admission of his fears would only confirm those of his mistress and add to the difficulty of reconciling her to his joining the insurgent army, he tried to convince her that she had been mistaken. “The banshee, alanna, shure it’s somebody has been frightenin’ ye; but I’ll larn them to keep their jokes to themselves”. “It’s no frightenin’, Murtough, for both saw and heard her plain enough. My father went to Larne this mornin’ and as he wasn’t home till late, I could not get away; so knowin’ you’d be waitin’, I hurried round to the near cut, by Biddy Callaghan’s, and just as I got to the top of boreen, I heard a low, mournful cry, ‘there’s Biddy again’ thinks I, ‘cryin for the poor Tarry’. But it stopped all at once and I heard no more of it till I reached the corner of your hay-yard when – the Lord save and keep us! - I saw the banshee herself sittin’ among the stacks and she wrung her hands and raised her lonely wail, as I came for’ard. Och! Murtough, she’s come to tell me of your death, and who’ll come fort your Mary when you’re gone”.

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