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‘Well, then, I have not, Grania O’Malley, but a man that is in Galway and lives near Spiddal—a tall big man he is, by the name of O’Rafferty—he told me that he had seen him not long since. He was going to a fair to sell some chickens that his wife had been rearing—fine young spring chickens they were—and he had them tied in an old basket and it on his back. And he had to go across a place where the sea runs bare, and the tide being out, there were{183} big black rocks sticking up everywhere. It was a strange, lonesome place, he said, full of big hollows between the rocks, and he didn’t half like the look of it, for the day was very dark and he was afraid every minute the tide might be coming in on him, and the basket on his back kept slipping and slipping with every step he made, and not another creature near him, good or bad. “Arrah! what will I do now, at all, at all?” says he to himself, when, all of a sudden, he heard a sort of a croaking noise behind him, and he turned round, and there on the top of one of the rocks sat a little old man with a face as red as a ferret, and an old red hat on his head, and he croaking like a scald crow and squinting at him out of the two eyes.’

Murdough paused dramatically, but Grania merely went on stacking her seaweed, and he had to continue his narrative without any special encouragement.{184}

‘Well, O’Rafferty, he just took one look he told me, no more, and with that he dropped the basket that was on his back, with the spring chickens in it and all, and he set to running, and he run and he run till he was over the place, and away with him across the fields beyond, and never stopped till he had run the breath all out of his body, and himself right into the middle of the place where the fair was held! And it was the devil’s own abuse he got from his wife, so it was, he said, when he got home that night, for letting her fine spring chickens be drowned on her, which she had been months 토토사이트 upon months of rearing.’

‘Then it is the cowardly man I think he was,’ Grania said scornfully, lifting her head from her work for a moment. ‘If it had been me, I would have looked twice, so I would, and not anyway have let the young chickens be lost and drowned in the sea.{185}’

‘Then I do not think he was the cowardly man at all,’ Murdough replied warmly; ‘and for chickens, what is the use of fine spring chickens or of money itself, or of a thing good or bad, if a man’s life is all but the same as lost with him being terrified out of his senses with looking at what no man ought to be looking at? It is quite right, I think, Patrick O’Rafferty was, and it is what I would have done myself—yes, indeed I would.’