While he continued to run on in this manner, we reached our watch-fire, when what was my surprise to discover, in my newly-made acquaintance, the worthy doctor I had seen a day or two before operating at the fountain at Talavera. "Well, Mr. O'Mealey," said he, as he seated himself before the blaze, "What is the state of the larder? Anything savory, anything drink-inspiring to be had?"
The conversation might not have taken a very amicable turn had M'Lauchlan heard the latter part of this speech; but, as happily he was engaged unpacking a small canteen which he had placed in the wagon, it passed unnoticed. "You'll nae dislike a toothfu' of something warm, Major," said he, presenting a glass to O'Shaughnessy; "and if ye'll permit me, Mr. O'Mealey, to help you "
Here O'Shaughnessy sighed deeply, and even seemed affected by the souvenir. "Come, Dan, we did it all for the best. Oh, O'Mealey, he was a cunning fellow; but no matter. We went to the ball, and to be sure, it was a great sight.
This was embarrassing; we had both embarked in several small schemes of pleasurable amusement, had a couple of hunters each, a tandem, and a running account I think it galloped at every shop in the town. "Let me pause for a moment here, O'Mealey, while I moralize a little in a strain I hope may benefit you.
O'Mealey, here's a troop to you; and in the mean time I'll give you a chant: 'Come, ye jovial souls, don't over the bowl be sleeping, Nor let the grog go round like a cripple creeping; If your care comes, up, in the liquor sink it, Pass along the lush, I'm the boy can drink it. Isn't that so, Mrs. Mary Callaghan? Isn't that so, Mrs. Mary Callaghan?
My very temples ache at the recollection." "Is Mister O'Mealey at home?" said a very rich Cork accent, as the well-known and most droll features of Dr. Maurice Quill appeared at the door. "Come in, Maurice," said the major; "and for Heaven's sake, behave properly. The poor fellow must not have a row about his bedside." "A row, a row!
"You know the west, O'Mealey, so I needn't tell you what the Galway girls are like: fine, hearty, free-and-easy, talking, laughing devils, but as deep and 'cute as a Master in Chancery; ready for any fun or merriment, but always keeping a sly look-out for a proposal or a tender acknowledgment, which what between the heat of a ball-room, whiskey negus, white satin shoes, and a quarrel with your guardian it's ten to one you fall into before you're a week in the same town with them.
Just look at him, blowing up the fire, isn't he a picture? Well, O'Mealey, I was fretting that we hadn't you up at Torrijos; we were enjoying life very respectably, we established a little system of small tithes upon fowl, sheep, pigs' heads, and wine skins that throve remarkably for the time. Here's the lush! Put it down there, Mickey, in the middle; that's right. Your health, Shaugh.
"Shaugh, my hearty, this begins to feel comfortable." "Your man, O'Mealey, has a most judicious notion of punch for a small party; and though one has prejudices about a table, chairs, and that sort of thing, take my word for it, it's better than fighting the French, any day."
It was a trying sight for her when the priest and the two coadjutors and three little boys and the sexton all came in to lay her spirit; and the shock she received that night, they say, she never got over. "Need I say, my dear O'Mealey, that our acquaintance with Mrs. Rogers was closed? The dear woman had a hard struggle for it afterwards.