"If you've a mind to be a tenant of mine, Colligan, I'll keep a look out for you. The land's crowded now, but there's a lot of them cottier devils I mean to send to the right about. They do the estate no good, and I hate the sight of them. But you know how the property's placed, and while Anty's in this wretched state, of course I can do nothing." "Will you bear it in mind though, Lynch?
There are 114 tenants, of whom 15 hold under judicial rents; 22 are leaseholders, and 77 are non-judicial yearly tenants. There are 12 Protestants holding in all a little more than 1200 acres. All the rest are Catholics, 14 of these being cottier tenants. The estate consists of 5165 acres. The average is about £24, and the average rental about £26, 10s.
By this time three years Mr Cottier can talk all he's a mind." I had never liked Mr Cottier, but I felt a sort of pity for him. Then I felt that perhaps the discipline would be the making of him, and that, if he kept steady, he might even rise in the Spanish Navy, since he was a man of education. Then I thought of poor Mrs Cottier at home, and I felt that her husband must be saved at all costs.
The other case was full of silk neckerchiefs packed very tightly, eleven altogether; most of them of uncoloured silk, but one of green and another of blue worth a lot of money in those days, and perhaps worth more to-day, now that such fine silk is no longer woven. "So this is what we get for the loan of Nigger, Jim," said Mrs Cottier.
Then the boat pushed off silently, sail was hoisted, and a course was set down channel, under a press of canvas. Mr Cottier cheered up when we had passed out of the sight of the lights of the shore, for he knew then that his life was to be spared. His natural bullying vein came back to him. He sang and joked, and even threatened his captors.
And then a man suggested "the parson"; and when he said that it flashed across my mind that he meant Mr Cottier, for I knew that sailors always called a schoolmaster a parson, and I remembered how Mrs Cottier had heard his voice among the night-riders on the night of the snow-storm just before Christmas. "No; it couldn't be the parson," said some one. "No one trusts the parson."
These houses, which contrast remarkably with the old structures not yet improved off the face of the island, accommodate half of Sir Maurice Fitzgerald's agricultural tenants, of whom there are about 100 on his part of the island, as well as eighty-eight cottier or labourer tenants, who work for the farmers or at the slate quarry, and have little patches of ground attached to their cabins.
These details appear calculated only to shock the feelings of the reader, already sufficiently acquainted with the lot of the Irish cottier and laborer, from the beginning of the last century.
Because a cottier deeply in arrears to his landlord is not industrious, there are people who think that the Irish are naturally idle. Because constitutions can be overthrown when the authorities appointed to execute them turn their arms against them, there are people who think the French incapable of free government.
Well, I shall be transported, but you'd have to serve in the Navy. So now we won't talk about it any more; I've had enough smuggling for one day. Let's go out and build a real snow-house, and then Jim will be a Red Indian and we will have a fight with bows and arrows." It was during the wintry days that Mrs Cottier decided to remove us from the school at Newton Abbot.