She was a pretty girl, and after she had shivered through the stormy nights of two winters in the lonely school-house, Mr. Conneally married her. Afterwards the office of school-teacher was also left vacant. The whitewashed school fell gradually into decay, and the committee effected a further saving. After his marriage Mr. Conneally's missionary enthusiasm began to flag.
Conneally's mouldy furniture as 'magnificently upholstered suites, and his battered editions of the classics as 'a valuable library of handsomely bound books. It is not likely that anyone was really deceived by these announcements, or expected to find in the little rectory anything sumptuous or splendid.
To Æneas Conneally, growing quietly old, the changes meant very little. The coastguards, being bound by one of the articles of the British Constitution, came to church on Sunday mornings with exemplary regularity, and each man at fixed intervals brought a baby to be christened and a woman to be churched. Otherwise they hardly affected Mr. Conneally's life.
The great officials who visited Carrowkeel to survey the benignant activities of the Congested Districts Board were men whose magnificent intellectual powers raised them above any recognised form of Christianity. Neither Father Moran's ministrations nor Mr. Conneally's appealed to them. The London committee of the mission to Roman Catholics made no inquiry about what was going on at Carrowkeel.
The village people crowded upon him with congratulations, and mothers of wide experience praised the boy till Mrs. Conneally's heart swelled in her with pride. He was christened Hyacinth, after a great pioneer and leader of the mission work. The naming was Mr. Conneally's act of contrition for the forsaking of his enthusiasm, his recognition of the value of a zeal which had not flagged.