As she looked a sudden tongue of flame sprang out from the western corner, and ran leaping up the great dark mass, spreading and widening as it went; then sparks were thrown out, and Roseen suddenly realised that the great rick, composed of tons upon tons of hay, worth at this moment a fortune in itself, was on fire.

Quinn left behind." "I am not goin' to take her lavin's, then," retorted Roseen with spirit. "Neither her jew'lry, her dresses, nor her husband will I have, so there! That's my answer, an' you may tell him so. He may go make up his match with somebody else for me." With a whisk of her skirts and a stamp of her foot, she returned to her butter. "Come, come!" said Peter, knitting his brows.

"An' why wouldn't they be with me?" cried Roseen quickly. "Isn't it the right place for them to be? They had a right to be stoppin' there altogether, on'y that they are that fond of their own little place I don't think they 'ud ever contint themselves." Mike suddenly sat down on the slab, but at a very discreet distance from Roseen.

As if in answer to her agonised prayer, certain shuffling steps were presently heard below, and old Judy's white sunbonnet appeared round the corner of the house. Roseen clapped her hands: here was one who would do her bidding, a faithful hench-woman who could be trusted to carry out her orders in defiance of old Peter's commands. "Judy!" cried the girl softly, bending out of the window.

"Young lady, fiddlesticks!" cried Roseen. "If ye go on that way I'll take ye by the two shoulders an' shake ye it's all I can do now to keep me hands off o' ye! What in the name of goodness would ye be at? I'm not a young lady no more nor ye are, I am just Roseen, the same as ever I was. It's you that's turned nasty and contrairy." "Not at all!" replied Mike, still frostily.

"Well then, grandfather," cried Roseen hotly, "I may as well tell ye straight out that I won't stand here an' hear Michael Clancy abused. He's all the husband ever I'll have, an' ye may make up your mind to that." Peter spluttered with fury and brandished his stick. It was perhaps well for the girl that the hedge divided them.

He cleared his throat and looked towards her, but seemed to find a difficulty in speaking. Roseen began to swing one of the little pendant feet and looked away into the blue distance. "Sure," she resumed in an indifferent tone, after a moment's pause, "when their own house is not ready for them, the best place for them to be in is their son's."

They were safe and sound at Monavoe, he knew, "well looked after," as the driver had told him, by "Miss Rorke" herself, but for the time being it almost seemed to him as though they were dead. As for Roseen, she was Miss Rorke now, the Mistress, the owner of Monavoe his Roseen was gone too!

"There's lots o' beau'ful rooms that we could live in," resumed Roseen, "an' we'd make a fire in that great big enormous stone hearth beyant, an' we'd ate off o' that big stone table, an' when anybody 'ud offer to come annoyin' us, we'd just melt a bit o' lead an' throw it down on them." Mike looked astonished and perturbed. "Sure it 'ud burn the flesh off o' their bones.

"What do ye mane at all? Indeed Mike will never let them go there. He'll work till the two hands drops off of him, but he will conthrive to keep a roof over their heads." "Will he now?" said Rorke, still laboriously urbane. "I wonder what roof that'll be?" Roseen looked up quickly, her parted lips suddenly turning white.