THE SCHOOLMASTER’S TALE

“You must know,” Niall began, “that Winifred is a descendant of the proud race which inhabited the castle wherein the child now lives. You are not, I am sure, acquainted with the history of her ancestors, nor shall I tell it. But for a thousand years they have been foremost in war, in minstrelsy, in beauty, in hospitality, in benefactions to the Church and in charity to the poor. Winifred…

A VISIT TO THE SCHOOLMASTER

I set out, with Barney as my guide; but Barney had stoutly declared that he would go only a part of the way, as he did not want to trust himself anywhere in the neighborhood of the schoolhouse. “Sure I went to school there for the length of a whole winter,” he said; “and the master drove the larnin’ into my head. He was a kind man, except when the…

A MOONLIGHT EXPEDITION

It was a lovely night when I set out with the merrymakers to the bog in search of peat. Barney was full of drollery, a typical Irish lad such as I had not seen in Wicklow before; and Moira, though at first fulfilling Winifred’s predictions by sitting silently with her heels kicking together where they hung out of the cart, and her head hanging down, after a while awoke to…

WINIFRED’S TREASURES

The room into which Winifred led me was a model of neatness. The curtain upon the window, the cover upon the small bureau were of snowy-white; and the counterpane upon the bed was blue-and-white patchwork–a piece of art in its way. “Granny did it all herself before she got blind,” Winifred explained. “It was for my mother; but my mother never came here, and so I got it.” She handed…

THE OLD CASTLE

In another instant the figure of the schoolmaster had vanished from the window; and Winifred entered, full of life and youthful spirits, recounting the details of her proposed ramble that evening with Moira and Barney, away to the bog for turf sods. “Can’t you leave it to themselves, Miss Winifred asthore?” said Granny. “Gatherin’ peat is no work for you.” “What are these arms for?” cried Winifred, holding out a…

THE SCHOOLMASTER

When I mentioned the strange apparition which I had seen with Winifred on one of those mountain passes overlooking the Glen of the Dargle, I saw that Granny Meehan was troubled and that she strove to avoid the subject. “Winifred seems very intelligent,” I remarked. “That she does,” the old woman assented cordially. “Times there be when I’m afeard she knows too much.” “Too much?” I inquired. Granny Meehan nodded…

A SECOND VISIT TO THE CASTLE

It was not so very long after this occurrence that, led on by the beauty of a moonlight night, I wandered somewhat farther than usual from the inn. The soft radiance of the full moon was streaming down over that exquisite landscape. I stood and gazed at a tiny stream which lay sparkling and shimmering with magical brilliancy; and as I did so I saw, coming through the dark masses…

A SINGULAR FIGURE

I was presently tempted to think that my landlord was right when he spoke of the “queer company” which Winifred sometimes kept. For, as I was rambling about one evening under the white blossoms of the hawthorn, I suddenly beheld her high up on a mountain pass. This time she was without her blue cloak, but wore a shawl of vivid scarlet, the corner of which she had wound about…

WINIFRED ASKS QUESTIONS

The morning after my visit to the castle I set out early to enjoy the beauties of the Glen, having first partaken of breakfast and enjoyed a little chat with my landlord, who was growing accustomed to my American inquisitiveness. “Sure she’s a fine woman is Granny Meehan!” he said, in answer to some opinion I had given concerning her; “an’ a religious woman, too, and very knowledgeable for her…

AT THE CASTLE

It was a lovely May morning when the landlord of the inn came to tell me that Wayward Winifred was waiting. “Why do they call her by that name?” I asked of him. “Oh, then, sure, ma’am, it’s just because of her whimsical ways! You might as well try to stick a pin through the down of a thistle or take a feather from a swallow on the wing, as…