August 09 , 2007

Paddy Finn


“The top of the morning to you, Terence,” cried the major, looking down upon me from the window of his bedroom. I was standing in front of the castle of Ballinahone—the seat of the O’Finnahans, my ancestors—on the banks of the beautiful Shannon, enjoying the fresh air of the early morning. “Send Larry up, will you, with a jug of warm water for shaving; and, while I think of it, tell Biddy to brew me a cup of hot coffee. It will be some time before breakfast is ready, and my hand isn’t as steady as it once was till I’ve put something into my inside.” The old house had not been provided with bells for summoning the attendants; a loud shout, a clap of the hands, or the clatter of fire-irons, answering the purpose. “Shure, Larry was sent to meet the postboy, uncle, and I’ll be after taking you up the warm water; but Biddy maybe will not have come in from milking the cows, so if Dan Bourke is awake, and will give me the key of the cellar, mightn’t I be bringing you up a glass of whisky?” I asked, knowing the taste of most of the guests at the castle.

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