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112 He again met Mary before the first rays of an early moon appeared over the far-off hills of Arran and they lingered till she was up in the heavens – Mary exaggerating the dangers before her over and he was vehemently protesting there would not be a blow. On the following evening, the united men in the Glenarm district met at a preconcerted rendezvous to receive their final orders for the public muster on the coming day. Murtough Carroll and his brother were amongst those who formed the first complement of men for the field, his father remaining at home for the protection of the family. We need not chronicle the fortune of these early victims of the Irish rebellion. Dickson, the leader, was seized before his men took the field; and McCracken assumed the command thus vacated. Under him, the division to which young Carroll belonged, strengthened by those of Templepatrick and Killead marched upon the town of Antrim which was then held by the Royal forces. The struggle was one of the most sanguinary which marked the horrors of ’98 and ended in the defeat of the United troops who fled in the wildest disorder before the desolating pursuit of the British cavalry. Many of them were thus taken and hanged on the spot without court-martial or any other form of trial and their bodies left to bleach in the summer sun as a warning to malcontents. The implication of the two Carrolls in the attack on Antrim was well known and large rewards were offered for their arrest – dead or alive – in common with that of some other individuals of respectability in the same neighbourhood. Patrick, the younger of the two, Succeeded in making good his escape to Down where the insurgents had taken the field in large force under Monroe. Murtough intended doing the same but lingered in concealment near Glenarm for the purpose of seeing his mistress before he left. Exactly a month had elapsed since their last interview, a month of exquisite anguish and apprehension to Mary and of great hardship and danger to her lover. His presence in the neighbourhood was known and threatening proclamations warned the inhabitants against affording shelter or sustenance to him or any of the known rebels; whilst detached parties of yeomanry scoured the country, entering and searching at all hours still whatever house they chose. Notwithstanding this vigilance, young Carroll had managed to keep up communication with his family, and though them with Mary; but till this time it had not been thought safe for the latter to risk a personal interview. On the evening, however, before the day which was to have been their wedding day it was privately arranged that they should meet the following evening as the increased vigilance of the yeomanry rendered Murtough’s remaining in the neighbourhood impossible.

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