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111 Murtough felt that any attempt to combat such direct evidence of the apparition would be useless and therefore, withheld his intended suggestion that Mary had merely heard, as she at first thought, Widow Callaghan mourning for her son who had been lately drowned among the rocks. As no other plausible solution of the difficulty occurred to him, he fell back upon the only remaining means of calming his sweetheart’s fears by removing the application from himself. “Shure enough, then, ye’ve seen her an’ there’s no denyin’ it’s before a death; but ye know my ould uncle Andy’s nearly done an’ we can’t expect he’ll last much longer. So cheer up, mavourneen; and only hope he’ll not put off the weddin’ and then, heaven rest his sowl when it takes him”. Mary readily caught at this interpretation of the preternatural warning though her fears for her lover made her slow in considering it beyond reasonable dispute. Murtough’s assumed cheerfulness, however, helped considerably to weaken her apprehensions and she answered – “The Lord send that it may be no worse and preserve you from danger that’s comin’; but you mindyour own dhrame, and you know a weddin’ is always death”. “Musha, Mary, but ye’ll kill me before my time” he answered evasively, and with a forced smile, for he had thought of the dream too; “but whisht, aroon an’ don’t be the laisr uneasy; afore a month’s past an’ gone wid the blessin’ of God, ye’ll be laughin’ at yer fears! And he put an end to further discussion on this unpleasant subject by another argumentum ad labia which told with better effect upon Mary than any appeal of a sterner logic. The lovers then turned homewards, conversing as lovers mostly do, when approaching marriage – “the bloom of blight of all men’s happiness” is the theme. When they reached the scene of the banshee’s appearance, Mary tremblingly pointed out the spot which, with but ill- concealed unease, Murtough said, left no doubt as to some member of his own family being the object of the anticipatory keen. After accompanying her to her father’s, he returned home full of the most unpleasant presentiments, which, however, the busy but secret preparations of the following day greatly helped to dissipate. From the silence of his family it was evident that they had seen or heard nothing on the subject of the she fragh’s premonitory appearance and cry; and he thought it best to say nothing on the subject lest it might excite useless alarm.

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